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Blue Bee on Firebush | by bob in swamp
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Blue Bee on Firebush

This little blue native halictid bee is a frequent visitor to Firebush (Hamelia patens). They are tiny enough to crawl head first down the floral tube to reach nectar. Some disappear completely into the flower and remain there for over a minute. Much larger non-native green orchid bees compete with the little halictids by using their very long proboscis to reach the nectar from the front doorstep (see image below). Frenchman's Forest Natural Area.

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Taken on September 10, 2016