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Masked Bee! - Hylaeus

Masked Bee! - Hylaeus
Santa Clara, Santa Clara County, California, USA
April 26, 2010
Size: 4mm
It seemed like there were a few of these on the flower bush, but at this size its hard to tell for sure if they were the same species.

Moved from ID Request.

Maybe Hylaeus?

Thanks for the ID, but...
...Is it just knowledge of this species that leads you to know it is a bee? The only difference that I can think of visually is that a bee is usually fuzzy. This particular bee does not appear very fuzzy...

The other main difference that I know of is the structure of the stinger, and even there I am not sure if this difference is across the board, or applies mainly to Apis mellifera.

Just looked familiar.
There are certainly some apoid wasps that look similar to this (to my eye), and I guess technically bees are all apoid wasps anyway.
Someone more knowledgeable may have something more helpful to say.

That makes me feel a little bet. Also...
...relevant is this quote from Wikipedia:

The resemblance to wasps is enhanced by the absence of a scopa, which is atypical among bees; Hylaeus carry pollen in the crop, rather than externally, and regurgitate it into the cell where it will be used as larval food...

Generally, I find several on the same bush.

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