This big, bulky bumblebee (Bombus sp.) is enjoying nectaring on its namesake bee balm (Monarda punctuata) in yet another wonderful pollinator photograph taken by Pelican Island Audubon Society Office Manager Bob Montanaro at (Pelican Island) Audubon House. Look closely to see yellow grain sod pollen on the distinctive ‘stripes’ of yellow and black hairs on the back of this bumble bee.
Most native bees are solitary and unlikely to sting, unless molested. Social bees like native bumble bees and European honeybees are far more likely to sting, especially to protect their ‘commune’. Solitary native carpenter bees are big bees, but they have a ‘shiny hiney‘.
Click here to learn more about Florida’s bumble bees.