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Happenings in the insect world
by Ellen Zagory
on May 24, 2014 at 9:10 AM
Is there something in the photos you can point out that tells you it is male?  
We have many yellow-faced BBs on Horkelia californica flowers in the Arboretum Teaching Nursery. They seem to prefer that plant.  
Regards to all  
by Kathy Keatley Garvey
on May 25, 2014 at 8:22 AM
From Robbin Thorp: "Boy bumble bees have an one more segment in the antenna and the abdomen than females do. The tip of the abdomen is also more rounded. Male bees do not have any pollen transport structures. In bumble bees, this means that the hind tibia is much more slender than in females which have corbiculae (pollen baskets). In Bombus vosnesenskii there is a second partial yellow band on the abdomen on T-5. The most accurate test of female vs male bumble bees, is to pick up a specimen with a bare hand. If you get stung, it is a female, if not it is a boy bee. Boy bees can't sting, because they have no stinger. But I do not recommend this test unless you already know the answer! :)  
"For having such small and obscure flowers, Horkelia does attract bumble bees. I have observed several kinds of bumble bees visiting a species of Horkelia on Mt. Ashland."
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