Sunday, November 09, 2008
the mystery bee

This is a new Bee, to me....I don't recall ever seeing him on any of the flowers in my garden until the other day! His markings are quite extraordinary as is his shape....! This picture above, is what most ALL of the Bee's who come and partake of the sweet flowers that are everywhere in my garden, look like....They are known as Honey Bees, I think...... is this "new" species---Well, I should say 'new' to me.....And I am fascinated by their, already mentioned, markings as well as the colors. I find them quite exotic, actually..... You probably should click on each of these pictures so that you can see these great beauty's in a somewhat larger format....! All the Bee's that were here on this day were swarming all over these Euphorbia Ingens, which is in the process of flowering and 'fruiting'.....Here below is a picture of the E. Ingens taken from my deck, as were all the pictures, I might add...... These Euphorbias are huge! I mean, really really big and tall ....They are probably 35 or 40 feet high, maybe more. And they are planted about one quarter of the way down below my house, over to the right side, and that is why I can see them so clearly from my deck. See, they are to the right of the deck, and fairly close, at that......And over the years, they have gotten taller and taller...They are trees, really. And here we are above....a bit closer-in on the arms, and especially the tops where all the flowering takes place.....Of course, this closeness is all with the camera. I cannot actually get close to the tops of them, except with the camera. It is quite a drop from my deck to the ground where they are planted...... And above, a somewhat closer look where, in fact, one of these 'mystery' Bees was about to partake of the sweetness of those beautiful little yellow flowers......And in the picture below...You can see him a bit closer..... I think he is quite amazingly stunning, don't you? And, just so you will see how very different the regular so called Honey Bees look, here is one more picture of two of them..... And, as I said, be sure to click on these pictures to be able to see them all bigger. And if anyone can tell me who these Bees are, I sure would appreciate it. I hope to get some more pictures of them in the next few days, before the flowers go bye bye.......

More To Come.........

Update: Thank you all very much for telling me about these little guys. You have all been very helpful on 'the mystery bee', and I am now sufficiently frightened of 'the yellow jacket wasp' so that I don't think I will be taking any more pictures of those Euphorbia Ingens Flowers....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

Bees are SO important to our plant and food chain! I actually like bees a lot. Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos Naomi!

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 12:40:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

By the looks of it they're wasps not bees... but I'm not expert [grin]

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 1:44:00 AM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

Your mystery bee might be
a yellow jacket wasp.
Stay away from them...
I have been stung by them
a long time ago and it
was quite painful.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 1:47:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I think they are yellow jackets, and Jan is right - stay away from them. Their sting is quite painful. That's what stung me on the hand last summer and the pain and itch lasted 10 days.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 4:15:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Looks like a yellow jacket wasp. Hopefully it will move on after a season. They can be quite aggressive. We usually get them here around September- then we dine inside instead of out.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 5:53:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

With all of those bees, there has to be a bee hive somewhere close....Yummmmmm.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 8:14:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I think it's a yellow jacket, a/k/a "European White Wasp." It is possible that it is also a leaf cutter which are solitary. They don't live in hives, which might explain why you've only seen one.


P.S. The Senator's aide, a female, made the offending remarks. I addressed my response to the Senator himself.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 8:48:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Whether they're mystery wasps or bees (they look like bees to me), they're beautiful to look at, especially when you click on the image to enlarge it.

Btw, the flowers are gorgeoous!

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 10:09:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

As always, your garden is a delight!

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 2:20:00 PM PST 

Blogger PI
had this to say:

That's really strange- he has a sort of chevron decorated body. I wondered if he could be a wasp. I hope the worries you had about the bees are now resolved.
The photos always look as if you are right by them. Do you have to lean over the rail to take them. Be careful:)

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 3:44:00 PM PST 

Anonymous Anonymous
had this to say:

It certainly is different looking, but I don't have a clue what it might be. I know how important bees are....but I always head in the opposite direction! Never been stung and plan to keep it that

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 4:20:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

New bee scares me. Don't let him bite you!

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 5:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Looks like a chubby yellow jacket to me. The shape of the body is that of a wasp rather than a bee. They can be aggressive and can sting multiple times (if it is a yellow jacket).

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 7:36:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Looks like a yellow jacket to me. They're wasps, and have a dreadful sting. I've always referrred to them as the Kamakazes of the insect world. They will seriously chase you, dive in for the sting and then die. Yikes...they are the only insect I'll actually RUN from.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 7:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

whoa! from the looks of it, it does look like a wasp. hope you stay as far away as possible, my dear. can't blame it, though, for getting attracted to the beauty of your gorgeous garden. ;)

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 10:43:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

This beautiful set of pictures remind me of the Bee movie which I really like. Naomi you are such a talented photographer!

Anyway, they look like normal bees to me. I am so blonde from time to time.

Sunday, November 9, 2008 at 11:50:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

well everyone seems to have gotten the identity of your mystery bee! And yes, to me also, it is a yellowjacket, and they can be nasty if provoked. They will sting sooner than any honeybee will.

when my kids were young and i lived here in NJ then .. you never saw yellowjackets much UNLESS.. heh, unless you used a grill and cooked outside... then they seem to appear from nowhere and be all over your food!..needless to say eating in the yard was held to a minimum!

Monday, November 10, 2008 at 4:21:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Great photos as usual Naomi!! Yellow jackets like to nest in the ground. We had a nest in our lawn a few years ago and the guy mowing our yard at that time, got stung on the ankle!! He came into the house with his shoe and sock off and I put rubbing alcohol on the stings. All they had for a nest was a tiny hole going into the ground. We poured gasoline down it and got rid of them varmits! I'm glad he was the one that encountered them instead of me!! I normally mow the lawn. When I was a kid I got stung by 22 yellow jackets. If I had been allergic no doubt I would have died. My Mom said I had stings all over my body. They really fight hard to protect their territory if you run across a nest.

Monday, November 10, 2008 at 7:42:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

When I saw the first photo I thought 'a wasp' and then I read your read writing at the end of the post and discover your readers have since informed you what it is!

In Australia, the European Wasp got into the country and now they are a big problem. They have nests in the ground and are horrible insects with a painful sting. I think that is part of the reason now, when you enter Australia the quaritine (can't spell!) rules are very, very strict. As Australia does not have borders with another country you cannot bring any nuts or fruit or plant matter into the country. You have to declare all food, even chocolate! I think that is a great thing so it stops little buggers like these wasps, ever finding their way into our natural system.

Monday, November 10, 2008 at 3:17:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I meant to ask you if you've seen more bees or fewer than past years.

Monday, November 10, 2008 at 8:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I read this yesterday and didn't leave a comment at the time, but had a bad feeling about the "new bee." My greatest concern is that he is somehow harmful to the real bees.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 1:43:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I was reading and looking at the pictures and feeling a little nervous for you - so glad for the update that you know they are wasps and not the pleasant and harmless honeybee.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 9:27:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I notice people have already identified the wasp. As long as you don't get too close you should be safe so just zoom in :) She is pretty though and your photos are as lovley as ever.

BTW - I am half way through replying to your email!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 9:43:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

I'd steer clear of those yellow jacket wasps too, as well, also!!!
It's good you don't have to get up close and personal with those to get their picture.
Wasps and hornets are common around these parts, and I STEER CLEAR whenever I see them.
As it gets colder though, all the insects will go away and do whatever it is they do during wintertime.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 6:21:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I grew up with yellow jackets. They are very common in the NW. We were never overly concerned with them, as they tended to be less aggressive than hornets and other wasps. But... who knows how they are as a species now. What Bee sting is pleasant? I can't think of any! lol They're just not as docile as honey bees.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 8:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Maybe it's one of a kind. I'm coming back later to watch Keith O.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at 3:19:00 PM PST 

Anonymous the fat lady
had this to say:

Please don't be afraid of the yellowjackets! Digital Technology gives us the ability to enjoy their beauty from a safe distance.

They will probably stay down in the "back 40" unless something on your deck attracts them (like a yummy bbq, or a scrumptious salad lol).Check on the net for scents that repel them, so if they crash your party, you can send them a "yer outta here" message.

They have a right to enjoy the hillside and the flowers, as do all the creatures with whom we share the planet. Some have claws, teeth and stingers to protect themselves. Man has intelligence and reason to avoid them. Peace on earth begins when respect and good will replace fear.

Friday, November 14, 2008 at 1:00:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Those Euphorbia Ingens are fascinating.

Yes, your flying friends are yellow jackets known to be none too sociable. Several years ago I had a problem with them trying to set up living quarters they entered through a tiny opening under the roof near a door that opens onto my patio. I knew they can be wicked if they're stimulated to go after you, so we took great pains repeatedly to poison the hole with spray, but had to be sure they weren't around when we sprayed inside it. Don't want them building any big hives year after year in an attic or interior wall areas. But...aren't they beautiful! They just don't make good company with people and can be rather aggressive from what I know. Expect you've read up on them on the Internet now and know more about them than I do.

Sunday, November 16, 2008 at 2:22:00 AM PST 

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