Spring and summer bee populations overlap in some regards, but there are newcomers once the month of June arrives. This is not a complete list of bees for the summer months, but I think it gives you an idea of how many different varieties you can find while enjoying the outdoors! This list only includes bees, but there are a wide variety of moths, butterflies, flies, and even wasps out and about doing their job for the circle of life.
Peponapis, or squash bees, begin flying as soon as there are squash blooms, as they are specialists, and rely solely on squash resources. You’ll find them nestled inside squash flowers early in the morning, so don’t forget to take a peek on your way to work or school!
Bumble bees persist throughout the summer, and you will recognize them by their loud buzz as they fly by, as well as their very furry coat. There are 40 species of bumble bees, with all sorts of banding patterns on the backs of their abdomens.
Anthidium, or wool carder, bees are also present throughout the summer. You will identify them by their hover-like flying technique around mint plants as well as Lamb’s ear. The males are very territorial, and will chase even bumblebees off the plant they are guarding!
Honey bees are among the summer flyers as well! They are the most recognizable of all bees, because we know them best.
Ceratina is a petite black bee who joins the forces in the summer months. If you are not paying close attention, you will miss this tiny flying insect.
Here is a leafcutter bee. They join the pollinating forces in May, but persist all summer. They have a very furry abdomen, which is where they carry pollen, so it is often dusted with orange or yellow powder.
Osmia, or mason bee, made her appearance in March, but will carry on until late May, and sometimes may even have a second generation of bees mid-summer! They are very dark and easily mistaken for a fly, but when you look closely, you can see they are black bees with a hue of blue in the sunlight. They also carry pollen on their abdomen, so may even see a yellow dusting underneath.
Andrena, or mining bee, is another spring riser, but will be around all summer too. There are many colors and sizes of mining bees, but here’s one brown example, and this one is rather small too.
This large black flyer is likely a carpenter bee who will begin flying in the summer months.
This is a halictus bee who flies during the summer months as well. They can be petite bees, but larger than Ceratina, with baskets on their legs, and usually a grayish color.
Here are some more Carpenter bees emerging early June. Look at all that sawdust!
This is a metallic green sweat bee, who is highly active in the summer months as well! Females are all green while males have the combo of stripes and green.
Cheers to observing and joining the movement!