Thanks to Scott Oneto for the identification.
Images below show the flowers, aphids, and density of growth. Most images taken 25 March 2017, Columbia California.
These videos, by Rob Hecocks, show boxelder bugs mating. 17 March 2017, Murphys California.
Collected by David Katosic, 16 March 2017. Apple Valley Estates, coming from behind exterior window trim.
Then, on 17 April 2017, David Katosic retrieved samples from within the window casing, and it was quite interesting. See below, IN THE NEST.
IN THE NEST
The nest was accessed. It appears we have solitary bee nest. The interior of the nest itself had a mixture of pollen, larval frass, minerals used to construct the nest, and mites. We videoed the mites, and the link is at the bottom of this post.
Jon Shattuck collected samples of the debris from a pine tree ant (Liometopum luctuosum) nest. The contents are variable and represent dead ants, both adults and larvae, and the food they have been collecting. The sample came from near a nest in a rarely visited guest house in the middle Camp Road area of Twain Harte, 7 March 2017.
Click to enlarge.
Leafhopper Assassin Bug, Zelus renardii, is a commonly seen insect, usually individually, in homes, often in winter months. They are beneficial insects, and when I find them indoors, I catch and release.
Below are some images of leafhopper assassin bugs from a home in Groveland. Unfortunately, they there were dozens of them inside; apparently an exterior wall of this home was an attractive site to overwinter.
Specimens collected 6 March 2017.
There is another photo on this site of a leafhopper assassin bug eating an ambrosia beetle.