Help Us Find August Bees!

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July 30, 2020 by Spencer Hardy

While July might have been the best month for bee diversity, August brings the best chance for rare species that can be identified from photos. In addition to the many fall specialists, there are numerous kleptoparasitic species active right now in the genera Epeolus, Triepeolus, Nomada, and Coelioxys. Look for stout bees with white or yellow bands on the abdomen. Many of the fall wildflowers (sunflowers, goldenrod, asters, etc) are starting to bloom and should be productive through September. There is an abundant and diverse group of goldenrod and aster specialists including members of ColletesAndrena, Pseudopanurgus, Melissodes and Perdita.

Among the most wanted species for the state is Paranthidium jugatorium, an uncommon native sunflower specialist that has been photographed just a few miles over the NY border. And if you are lucky enough to have a fen near your house, late August is the beginning of the bloom for Fen Grass of Parnassus (Parnassia glauca) which is the host plant for another rare bee – Andrena parnassiae.

Finally, here are a few plants from previous months that should still be blooming:

Add your discoveries of all the bees you discover and photograph to the Vermont Atlas of Life on iNaturalist.