As you can clearly see this is a Yellow-Tailed Carpenter Bee, a hitherto unknown and undescribed species of Carpenter Bee.
No, only joking, the Yellow-Tailed Carpenter Bee doesn’t exist, but she did look authentic.
She does really look as if the yellow tail is part of her but I have been watching her nectar orgy in the dahlias and I know that it is just the rich yellow pollen of the dahlias that has adhered firmly to her posterior.
She is obviously a meticulous creature and retired to the shelter of the house wall to tidy up a bit and make herself more presentable. My concern is that she is totally ignorant of the pollen stuck to her rear. She spent a good deal of time and effort cleaning up all her face parts and sorting out her antenna but the problem at the other end was ignored.
It does make me wonder if she is not one of these unfortunate creatures that is going to be an evolutionary dead-end. I have seen many Carpenter Bees on the Wisteria, the Spanish Broom and Jasmine but I have never seen any on the Dahlias.
When Carpenter Bees feed on Wisteria they do not actually come into contact with the pollen, therefore, – no yellow bottoms.
If I think she is different, what is a male Carpenter Bee going to think? It could be a faux pas in Carpenter Bee protocol like getting the back of your skirt caught in your knickers. She will be doomed. Her genes will stay stranded inside her unfertilised eggs. Her predilection for Dahlia nectar will not be passed on to future generations of Carpenter Bees.
On the other hand the pollen might fall off in time for her to return to her seductive black form allowing her to raise plenty of Dahlia-appreciating offspring.
It will be up to me to keep an eye on my Dahlias next year and note if there is an increase in Yellow-Tailed Carpenter Bees.