First time with Mason Bees here in Tacoma WA. We had three come out of their cocoons today. One female is working in a tube. But we had one insect who flew up to near the bee house, shook off their wings and is now wandering all over the bee house.

Is this a mason bee or something else? Should I be concerned?

Unidentified Insect

  • $\begingroup$ What is the approximate size of your specimen? Please update your post using the edit button to include at least an approximate size. Thanks. See here for how to write a well-received species-identification question that has a better chance of getting a good (and correct) answer. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 20 '19 at 14:46

Black garden ant and associated image from its Wikipedia page.

black garden ant (Lasius niger), also known as the common black ant

Ants and bees don't get along so if you want the bees you should get rid of the ants.

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    $\begingroup$ I've downvoted b/c many ants look similar, & your post hasn't done anything to convince readers this is an accurate ID. It appears as a guess w/ a picture. You should indicate explicitly what characteristics of L. niger you find to match the OP's specimen. You could also address why it's not other related or similar looking species. Finally, please examine & mention the likelihood of your answer based on known range info...For example, the range map for L. niger from antsmap.org suggests it's an exotic with few records in WA... $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 20 '19 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist Thank you for the guidance, I should wait until it is "well asked". $\endgroup$ – Rob Mar 20 '19 at 15:49
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    $\begingroup$ Rob, I agree -- getting more info from a better asked question is ideal. In the absence of an update to the question, I recommend 1 of two things: 1. just move on. or 2. Write a darn good, detailed answer being very clear about why you think it is what it is. Even if you're not correct, your reasoning will be valuable and might encourage discussion, question edits, or additional answers. You could also present various species options and "teach" us why it's unclear which is correct and which characteristic to look out for and how specific traits would be indicative of specific species. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 20 '19 at 17:25
  • $\begingroup$ For example, see my answer to this post. I wasn't sure of the answer, but I present the likely group and try to narrow based on characteristics and ranges. $\endgroup$ – theforestecologist Mar 20 '19 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ @theforestecologist The cephalothorax of blackjack75's spider looks different than your two examples, but I may have found you a better photo, a 'my guess is better than your guess' discussion isn't productive unless one of us is a myrmecologist. What is really helpful, is this Meta post of yours, a comment from the Moderator might assist Susan and be better received than a random person's comment (mine). Thanks again. Moving on. $\endgroup$ – Rob Mar 20 '19 at 20:05

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