Bee or fly? #624439 - Ask Extension

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Bee or fly? #624439

Asked April 15, 2020, 6:40 PM EDT

Hello, I found this bee, or fly, in my bathroom. I thought it was a housefly, so picked it up to take it outside. I was stung. What is it?

Lane County Oregon

Expert Response

That was a rude surprise when you were attempting to do a good deed. Insect identification from a photo is difficult and not very accurate. But I am including a link to give you a rough guide at least to the insect order but not to the exact species.

 University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources has a “guide to insect orders”, which if you will look at it shows that flies are in the order diptera and they have short antennae. Whereas bees are in the order hymenoptera and have antennae with greater than 10 segments, such as is seen in your photo. Flies have 2 wings and bees have 4 wings that hook together so they can appear as having only 2 wings. Could it possibly be a mason bee? They normally do not sting unless grabbed, pinched, or stepped upon.

There is certainly always something new to learn. Thank you for contacting Extension Ask an Expert.

Anna Ashby Replied April 16, 2020, 5:47 PM EDT

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