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716RE: [beemonitoring] Bee vs Wasp identification

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  • Claudia Ratti
    Jul 19, 2009
      Hi Gidi,

       Here is a site that has a section on "Is it a bee or not?"


      It's got images of the branched hairs and text on where you are most likely to find these hairs on parasitic bees. It also has pictures of the pronotal collar Sam mentioned. It's intended to cover bees from all over the world so it should work on your bees from Israel. Clicking on any of the small thumbnails will bring up a much larger image.

       Hope this helps,
           Claudia =)

      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      From: sdroege@...
      Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 07:35:05 -0400
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Bee vs Wasp identification

      Hi Gidi:
      Yes, go ahead and post some pictures, people are always interested in seeing bees from different locales.
      The bee/wasp thing is a bit tricky, in practice in most guides and keys people have completely ignorned the problem and simply assumed that users already know their bees vs wasps.  In reality it isn't such a straightforward issue.  Below are some thoughts based on working with mostly material from Eastern North America. Also it isn't just parasitic bees that are problematic as male bees, some bees with very sparse scopal hairs (e.g., Some Perdita in North America), and bees that carry pollen intgernally (e.g, Hylaeus) could also be confused.
      Characteristics that are only found on wasps but not all wasps:
      - Shiny silvery (rather than mearly white) hairs on the face
      - Narrow petiole connecting the abdomen to the thorax
      - Constrictions in the width of T1 of the abdomen
      - Non-bee wing venetion in the marginal/submargina l cell area (I would show picures of the range of bee venetion present among the genera in Israeli bees, rather than try to capture the range of venetion found in wasps) - Note that many sphecids have wing venetion similar to bees.
      - The pronotal collar extending all the way to the tegula (rather than forming a pronotal lobe that falls short)
      - Absence of forked or branched hairs - however on some bees with sparse hair it can be difficult to find forked hairs too
      - Non bee mandibles  (you could show some common wasp mandibles)
      I bet other workers will have additional characters to add here.
      The group most simlar to bees are the Sphecid wasps which have similar wing venation and  a pronotal lobe, however, in our area many of these have silver hairs on the face and often have petiolate abdomens so in reality the bulk of wasps can be eliminated using the above characters.  My advice to people starting collection is to collect and pin all bees and wasps in the beginning so that you are sure that you are capturing tricky bee genera like Shecodes, Nomada, Hylaeus, Holcopasites, etc.  
      Hope that helps.
      Night on the Great River [three translations]            
      by Meng Hao-jan
      Translated by Gary Snyder, Kenneth Rexroth and William Carlos Williams


      Steering my little boat towards a misty islet,
      I watch the sun descend while my sorrows grow:
      In the vast night the sky hangs lower than the treetops,
      But in the blue lake the moon is coming close.

      [translated by William Carlos Williams]

      -----beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com wrote: -----

      To: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com
      From: "Gidi" <gidpisa79@yahoo. com>
      Sent by: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com
      Date: 07/19/2009 02:58AM
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Bee identification


      Hello everyone. We are studying bees in Israel and we have a key for the local bee genera. However, I am having problems at the ase of the tree: how do you tell a (parasitic?) bee from a wasp? Of course, most specimens are straightforward, but a few cases are harder to decide. May I post some specimen pictures here for help in identification?

      Thank you,

      Gideon Pisanty.

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