Honey Bee

Apis mellifera

Photo by Michael Plagens

Image taken in White Canyon Wilderness, Pinal Co., Arizona. The bee is gathering nectar and pollen from male flowers of Seep Baccharis (Baccharis salicifolia).

More than likely this feral (wild) honey bee is Africanized. This is now true of virtually all feral colonies that are not tended by beekeepers. That these bees are so common could be a detriment to native solitary bees in that they compete for pollen and nectar at wildflowers. The bee in the photo is at flowers of Seep Baccharis, one of the Sonoran Desert's most important nectar plants for butterflies, flies and beetles, wasps as well as native Hymenoptera (bees and wasps). Honey Bees are not native to the Sonoran Desert and probably have a detrimental impact on the hundreds of native bee species.

Apidae -- Bee Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 17 July 2009,
updated 11 Jan. 2022.