The indigo insect was last spotted in central Florida in 2016, five years after it was first identified. But this spring, just as Americans began to hunker down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rare blue bees, known scientifically as Osmia calaminthae, were rediscovered in the same region foraging on Ashe’s calamint, a dainty violet flower that blooms in certain scrub habitats…
Because blue calamintha bees have been known for only a decade, scientists are still getting to know more about their vulnerabilities and idiosyncrasies. For example, the bees appear to have an unusual way of foraging. They tend to rapidly bob their heads two to four times when visiting flowers. Kimmel and other experts believe they do this to dislodge pollen from the plant, but none of the other 23 bee species known to visit Ashe’s calamint do this, Kimmel says.Jonathan Kendall, “Blue Bee Feared to Be Extinct Is Found in Florida” at Smithsonian Magazine
Yes, they’re blue. You don’t see that every day:
Because of environment concern today, species are often reported as extinct that actually aren’t. They just stay out of the way of humans. See: Extinction (or maybe not): New Scientist offers five such “Lazarus species”
Note: The blue bee is a solitary bee, so far as researchers know. It doesn’t form hives. That would make huge numbers a challenge.