The plum tree is still covered with fluffy white blossoms, but it’s been too cold for many bees to show up. On one sunny day last week, a honeybee visited the plum tree and maybe a half dozen small, seemingly black bees. The one clear photo I got only shows its tail, but more importantly shows its true color: darkest almost blackest green, a color shown mainly in the shimmer.
That color makes me pretty sure that they’re small carpenter bees, or Ceratina. They probably overwintered in the stems of shrubs in the yard, or maybe the sumacs growing next door. This is why I leave a lot of stems standing until spring before I cut them down. It’s nice to see them come back, and I’m sure we’ll see them again.