I don't mind bees and such as long as they're pre-occupied with flowers. Does anyone know what this is? I want to start IDing insects so I can keep an archive of local ones to use with the gardening hotline - we always get insect questions!
It's hard to tell for sure but in my bug book it looks like a Northeastern sawfly. Latin name is tenthredo originalis. It says they grow 3/8 inch long and the adults feed on nector. The larva feed on foliage of shrubs and trees.
Kimberley - going off thread a bit here. I went to a garden centre today and they had a batch of shrubs that they allowed the Japanese beetle to devour. They said as long as they stay on these plants they will leave the others alone. A feeding ground no less. But the awful thing is that their bugs looked exactly like mine and yet I thought my bugs were the cockchafer beetle or chafer beetle. Are they one and the same thing? The colours, shapes etc are quite identical in my eyes.
Did they look like the one I posted? It's quite irridescent with bronze and green on its body and distinctive little white dots along its side. See the post I put on the photo forum for a close-up of a bonafide Japanese beetle and see if that's it: http://davesgarden.com/showthread/53226.html
What plant did they use at that garden center? Good idea!