I SAID IT WAS NOT A BEE!
Hours searching, red-eyed and teary
Scanning late near midnight weary
Endless screens listing fakey bees
None sporting thick gold thighs and knees
I turned away from wasps and flies
To swarms of bees, with many sighs.
California links not far away
Pointed to a Megachilidae
Bug guide dot net had good clear frame
No doubt now I knew insect’s name
Anthidium illustre bee
Sipping penstemon nectar tea.
Now to bed, satisfied to see
My garden has a native bee.
A. illustre (Megachilidae) on Penstemon spectabilis. The length of this bee is about one centimeter. Anthidium illustre (Callanthidium illustre) is a western bee, found throughout California, north to Oregon, Idaho, and east to New Mexico & Colorado. Have you seen A. illustre visiting your garden’s native flowers?