Digger Bee Cuckoo
Genus Melecta
Species:Pacifica fulvida or thoracica

digger bee cuckoo
I was elated to find some blooming bushes, Greenleaf Manzanita Arctostaphylos patula (my sister-in-law Nicky Davis
 identified the bushes for me - you can see her extensive photographic web site here) right at the lookout area at
Lava Point in
Zion National Park and visiting those bushes were these beautiful Digger-Bee Cuckoo Bees,
the likes
of which I have never seen before. I lightened up the photos somewhat so you can see the
bees better (the orange is actually a little darker.) © Carol Davis 4-19-2015

orange and black Melectini bee
According to Bugguide, Melecta are specialized brood parasites of Anthophora species (other bees). 
Like the Cuckoo Birds who lay eggs in other birds' nests, Melecta bees lay their eggs in other
bees' nests (and destroy the original eggs).  © Carol Davis 4-19-2015

cuckoo bee face
These bees weren't too bothered by me at first but after a while they became a bit skittish and photographing
became much harder.  I'm sure they don't see many people up close and personal. 
You can read more about
Anthophora bees and their Cuckoo bee nemeses at the
MPG Ranch site. It has
excellent information and photos. 
© Carol Davis 4-19-2015

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