Albuquerque Beekeepers

Urban beekeeping in New Mexico's largest city.

Hi all,

 

Yesterday morning I noticed about 50-100 wasps hovering above the ground near my hive. They don't seem to be bothering the bees. They aren't yellow jackets or similar. They don't look like the paper wasps I've seen around here. They are medium size, have rust-reddish and black bodies, and just seem to be gliding around an area about 10 feet in diameter. The area isn't wet enough to have grubs for hunting though I wonder if they are preying on the little ants that have been getting into the bee hive. Any ideas on what they are? I don't see a ground nest or any particular concentration of their attention or origin.Yesterday they disappeared by 2:30. They are back again today. They don't seem aggressive at all as I've wandered into the area they are in to get a better look.

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Aly, I don't know what they are, either, but I wonder if I might have seen the same kind of bee near my hive this spring. It was larger than an ordinary bee, with a completely black body and a reddish head (may have been red fur, I didn't get a close look). It walked into my hive and a few minutes later came out and flew away. The honey bees didn't seem to mind.

 

Leslie

 Hi there....

I just saw the exact same thing at my house!  Not around the beehives though.  I think they are a member of the scoliid wasp family...in particular scolia dubia.  They are non agressive, hunt for the larvae of the green june beetle....and I have read many reports of mating dances...consisting of s shape or figure eight flying patterns close to the ground.  Here is a link and nice picture i found on the web....  Is it a match?

 

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/lawn/note12/note12....

Um, it doesn't look like my memory of the strange bee--but it's been a couple months now since I saw it. The photo in your  link has the narrow wasp waist; this bee was shaped more like a honeybee . . .

I've had loads of these in my garden this summer.  Glad to finally put a name to the face, so to speak!  They've been really docile and nice to watch.  Glad to hear they are also benefitting from our flowers and are seeking out June beetle larvae.  Thanks, Megan!

Megan,

 

Yes that does looks about right. Now there is also a group over in a planting area of the yard. They are quite enjoyable and indeed are beneficial - nice to hear.

These last few days, we've had a handful of small yellow jacket-looking wasps on the waterers. They've not been aggressive. They flee the waterers when I got to fill them up. Maybe it's the weather?

 

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