** I have just changed the title of this post due to people not reading through to the end and telling me I am wrong!
I had thought this was an orchid bee, a little Euglossa, but after some confusing internet research (I found many varieties of green metallic bees but not many blue metallic bees), I think it may be a solitary mason bee, an Osmia.
Or it could be a Sweat Bee, so called because they just love sweaty people. Florida must be sweat bee heaven especially in August. I think the Euglossa bees have much more robust legs than this little metallic bee.
It is tiny and almost curled around in a complete circle. Straightened out it can’t be much more than half an inch.
I did not, of course, attempt to draw it so small but a nice big 3 inches so that I had a fighting chance of some detail. The glittering iridescent armour plating is pitted, with, I presume, hair follicles. It shimmers like petrol, purple through blue to green. But the middle section is definitely more green than the tail.
The wings are a dark browny colour. Here is the study with the tiny bee top right.
If my drawing is good enough for a positive ID on this bee, I would be interested to know what it really is.
Here is the study .. it’s not quite finished but I have run out of time. I don’t think I have tried to paint iridescence before, but surely must have tried a peacock’s feather at some point in my life.
Anyway I feel that a better medium would be oils for this. The watercolours are a bit dull.. but then nothing can really match the brilliance of nature’s colours. These are stunningly beautiful little creatures
There is an interesting article here http://www.greatsunflower.org/en/osmia-leaf-cutter-bees about these Osmia bees. The description, especially the lack of conspicuous bands of hair, seems to be right.
**** update, I emailed Anna at Anna’s Bee World who put me right.. this is a blue Chrysididae wasp see next post …