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Diadasia bituberculata

Diadasia bituberculata
Palo Comado Canyon, north of Agoura Hills, Los Angeles County, California, USA
April 25, 2007
Size: 13 mm

Images of this individual: tag all
Diadasia bituberculata Diadasia bituberculata Diadasia bituberculata

Diadasia bituberculata
your ID is correct

excellent find worthy of follow-up

any chance you can take field shots in a natural (nest) setting?

I dunno
Thanks for the confirmation. They were swarming, which I'm guessing only lasts for a few hours. I'll try to make it out there again later this week and take, if nothing else, photos of the nest site sans bees. Hopefully there will be some activity.

The word "swarming"...just to clarify
I'm not a bee expert, but here's some of what I've learned from reading and casual observation over the last few years.

In the context of bees in temperate North America, the word "swarming" usually refers to the event in which honeybees, Apis mellifera, collect in large numbers outside their nest and then move en masse to establish a new nest (cf. Wikipedia, or Michener (1974)).

Honeybees, which were introduced into North America in the 1600's by the English colonists in Virginia, are distinctive in their perennial life cycle, and in having the highest level of social organization among bees.

While the native bees of North America are hugely diverse, most species have an annual life cycle and are solitary...though many taxa grade into different levels of sociality. In solitary bees, each individual female works independently to construct her nest(s), provision its cells, lay an egg in each cell, and then cap it. Solitary bees don't see or interact with their larval offspring, the egg hatches after the mother seals the nest, and she usually dies before the larvae mature.

The Diadasia here are basically solitary bees, but they show some sociality in that they form large, dense, nesting aggregations. Unlike an ephemeral honeybee swarm...where the activity may last just a few hours...nesting aggregations like these can remain active for many weeks. And they can also persist in the same location over a number of years, through multiple generations.

Here are two posts of Diadasia aggregations on BugGuide:

Below are two JSTOR links to articles on nesting aggregations of two other species of Diadasia:

      Observations on Nest Aggregations of the Bees Diadasia olivacea and D. diminuta (1977)

      The Nesting Biology of Diadasia afflicta (1982).

they have fixed nest sites in the soil
so their "swarming" should last much of the day for a couple of weeks. Morning is likely best for this species.


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