Color-coded as a villain, this photo is anything but treacherous! I’m not sure why this bee is the Dilemma Orchid Bee, but apparently after being identified as a different species of orchid bee, the bee experts realized their error and the result was this new classification. Anyway, I feel confident I have the correct ID for the current moment because it’s the only orchid bee on BugGuide.net, and I shot these photos (additional one below after the break) in Florida which is the only state in the U.S. thst it has been recorded.
These striking bees weren’t too phased by my camera work and would fly out just slow enough for me to get tantalizingly close to getting in-flight shots with their amazingly long “tongues” (proboscises) extended. It’s all a blur (literally), and I don’t have the heart to talk about it. (Really wanted those shots!)
Bonus critters: this inividual below (probably different from the bee in the above photo) appears to have little white mites on the pollen basket section of its hind legs.