Oka Ponds, Los Gatos, Santa Clara County, California, USA September 14, 2008 Size: ~12-14 mm
The basic question is: Is this a Honey Bee? It's not carrying any pollen, but it looks like it might have scopae on the hind tibia. (?)
What I'm trying to learn could be put as follows: What characterizes an Apis bee? Are there any native bees that look like Apis bees? In other words, if it looks like a honey bee, is it a honey bee? Or, conversely, how do you know a bee is not an Apis?
Ancillary question: I know drones leave the hive and fly around (saw this at an apiary once -- the beekeeper could tell the drones by their flight sound -- to entertain folks he would grab them out of the air, even put them in his mouth. He said they flew around for exercise and to take a dump, that they were a useless drain on the hive resources and he consequently destroyed a number of them). I didn't find out if they got their own nectar or did all their feeding in the hive. Thus: do drone honey bees visit flowers? Are those scopae or could this be a drone? BTW, this one's on California Buckwheat. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Contributed by iNaturalist on 21 August, 2009 - 12:41pm Last updated 20 March, 2010 - 11:07am
Disclaimer: Dedicated naturalists volunteer their time and resources here to provide this service. We strive to provide accurate information, but we are mostly just amateurs attempting to make sense of a diverse natural world. If you need expert professional advice, contact your local extension office.