I live in Michigan. I just saw a bee that I think I've seen before, but only this time was I so struck by its uniqueness and - for lack of a better word - scariness.
I'll describe it. It was maybe an inch and a half long. Maybe bigger, maybe smaller (I'll admit that I was hurrying to get away from it). It looked like a queen bee, but longer and slightly thinner. However it had wings that were very profoundly orangish-red. Like burnt orange maybe.
I haven't been able to find any matching pictures online. It is theoretically possible that it was covered in pollen, and I am incorrect about what I think I saw, but assuming it wasn't (as I do believe this isn't the first time I've seen this guy or one of his friends), does anyone have any clues as to what this could be?
After considerable patience. I was able to capture some photos of this guy. One of these photos is post-processed a little to emphasize the color.
A couple things about these photos.
- They were extremely difficult to take because the bee never stops moving. I don't know if this behavior is useful for identification, but he is always in the same place (in front of one house), and he flys back and forth between a small crack in the sidewalk (a nest?), and between 5 and 10 feet away. He moves like a dragonfly (that's the best way I can think to describe it), and he doesn't stop - he'll seem like he is going to land, and then flies off. This morning was an exception.
- These photos do not fully capture the depth and vividness of the redness of his wings, nor do they adequately convey just how large he is.