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Calling all insect photogs...HELP!
Posted By: w6wat, 04-12-2008, 07:40 PM

Hello, I've a medium sized bee/wasp like insect flying around my backyard in the late afternoon for the past several days. It's impossible to focus in on him because he never lights, and only stops for a fraction of a second at a time. He just buzzes around back and forth, and in circles, with an occasional hover. He never feeds from the blossums or flowers in the yard. He just flys continuously, mostly around the apple tree, and then every few minutes over to the grapefruit tree, and then back. I suspect he's trying to attract a mate, but I've never seen another like him in my neck of the woods. He's about 3 times the size of our normal bees, gold in color, and rather sinister looking. He usually buzzes me once or twice every 15 to 20 minutes while I'm trying to "shoot" him.

I tried to capture his image, but again, he never stops.......so I could never focus on him.

The images that are clear enough to see are posted here.

What is he?

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04-12-2008, 08:50 PM   #2
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Try spraying sugar water or honey water on the plants. Try to take the shots in the dawn or sunset.

With non aggressive insects, try to use a polystyrene cup to trap them and get them disoriented + stunned. Then these insects would stay still for a while.

Unfortunately there is no tricks to avoid them flying around...
04-12-2008, 08:54 PM   #3
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I'm not certain, but he looks more like a cicada than a bee.... But the wings look too small for a cicada. Maybe it's just because he's a BIF (Bug In Flight) that gives that illusion of the wings being smaller than they are...

I think you've done a great job capturing him, especially considering the difficulty of the task...

#1 and #4 are especially nice! Great sense of wing motion in #4!

-Chris
04-13-2008, 05:48 AM   #4
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ohh its a BFB..... BIG F*KN BUG!! haha.. jeez, thats fairly large isnt it.. i always have fun trying to capture insects/bugs/flies etc.. it can be a challenge thats for sure.. jimi's comment with the cup is a good bit of advice. the only other advice i could give you is to open a jar of honey and leave it in the area . see what happens..

04-13-2008, 06:25 AM   #5
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Yes great shots on a difficult task. I am going to try my luck this summer as well. I like the sugar water, honey something sweet and sticky ideas, they fly so erratically so it is either confine them or get there interest in staying put.
04-13-2008, 06:29 AM   #6
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That's a busy bee...

Nice mid-flight captures BTW!
04-13-2008, 09:48 AM   #7
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Original Poster
I found out what he is!

Apparently, this little monster is a male Valley Carpenter Bee. I found this interesting site:

What's That Bug: Bees

I've also gone back and brightened up some of my shots, and I can see the wing movement better. I'll post one or two when I get a chance.

04-14-2008, 04:57 AM   #8
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Here's my fav bug site Male Valley Carpenter Bee - Xylocopa varipuncta - BugGuide.Net
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