Currently viewing the category: "Resin Bees"
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Subject: Tube Nesting Wasp?
Location: Western North Carolina
August 19, 2015 9:37 am
These rather large (1 inch plus) wasps (?) are busily nesting in the larger of my Mason and Leafcutter Bee nesting tubes, and they seal the end of the tube with a mud plug.
Signature: Alan

Giant Resin Bee

Sculptured Resin Bee

Dear Alan,
This is an introduced Giant Resin Bee or Sculptured Resin Bee,
Megachile sculpturalis, and it belongs to the same family as your native Mason and Leafcutter Bees.  According to BugGuide:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.”

Giant Resin Bees

Giant Resin Bees

 

Andrea Leonard Drummond liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What kind of bees are these???
Location: Springfield Pa
July 5, 2015 10:34 am
Can someone please tell me what kind of bees these are? We noticed them last week and sprayed where they seem to be making a nest in the arm of our awning? We thought we got rid of them and now they are back.
When my 4 year old sees them she wont go outside:(
Thanks in advance for your help!!
Signature: Dina

Giant Resin Bee

Giant Resin Bee

Dear Dina,
This sure looks to us like an invasive, exotic Giant Resin Bee,
Megachile sculpturalis, and you can verify our identification by comparing your image to those on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.”

Sue Dougherty, Alisha Bragg liked this post
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: wood boring wasp?
Location: brisbane Australia
March 23, 2014 12:40 am
Hey bugman just wondering what this is. Has been boring into wood for years and we’ve never known what it is
Signature: wood boring wasp

Fire-Tailed Resin Bee

Fire-Tailed Resin Bee

This is a Bee, not a Wasp, and we quickly identified it as a Fire-Tailed Resin Bee, Megachile (Callomegachile) mystaceana, (Chalicodoma mystaceana), thanks to the Brisbane Insect Website where it states:  “This is a solitary bee and build nest by resin, gum or mud in enclosed spaces such as space between folds of fabric and old Mud-Dauber Wasp nest. They will nest in drilled wooden blocks too. … This Resin Bee female builds nest in existing cavity.”  If that information is accurate, something else is boring the holes that these resourceful and opportunistic Fire-Tailed Resin Bees are using as nesting sites.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: What’s this bee?
Location: North Sutton NH
July 10, 2013 8:14 am
Found this insect on milkweed with my honey bee’s. Appeared to be just resting. Has large mandible’s on the front. Never seen this one before.
Signature: NH Bee

Giant Resin Bee

Giant Resin Bee

Dear NH Bee,
This is a Giant Resin Bee, Megachile sculpturalis, and it is an introduced species native to Asia.  According to BugGuide:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.
Aggressive, it attacks other bees; it has been reported killing honey bees.”

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Giant bees!!!
Location: Suburbs of Detroit
July 9, 2012 5:39 pm
I have had these 2 huge lavender plants out front for four years, but this year it is COVERED with an abnormal amount of bees. Most of them I recognize as locals, but there are tons of these gigantic bees that are black and the wings look black at the ends and almost take on a triangular shape when at rest. The two pics I am submitting look similar, but may be different?
What are they and do they sting like yellow jackets (over and over) or like bees (who lose the stinger in your skin)??? I grew up on a farm and have never seen such large bees! I’m excited and nervous about them 😉
Signature: Go Blue Girl

Giant Resin Bee

Dear Go Blue Girl,
This is a Giant Resin Bee,
Megachile sculpturalis, an introduced species from Asia that has naturalized in North America.  According to Bugguide:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.  Aggressive, it attacks other bees; it has been reported killing honey bees.”  We do not have the answer to your stinging question, though we believe it might only be the worker Honey Bees that lose their stinger.  Honey Bee workers are not individuals in the sense that a solitary bee is.  It serves the hive to have a Honey Bee sting continue to deliver poison even though the bee dies.  It would not be to any evolutionary advantage for a solitary bee to die after stinging.

Giant Resin Bee

Eric Eaton responds to stinger query.
Daniel:
I think barbed stingers are peculiar to social bees and wasps, or at least honeybees and some yellowjackets.  So, the Giant Resin Bee could conceivably sting more than once, but in my experience solitary bees and wasps take a lot of provocation before they deploy their stingers.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Not Carpenter Bees?

Giant Resin Bee

Location: Northeast Georgia mountains
July 1, 2011 2:29 pm
A group of 10 or 11 of these burrowing bees-wasps-hornets-flies hangs around a wooden bench made from a cayuco, which, in the Republic of Panama, is made from a hollowed-out tree. I brought this bench with me when I moved from Panama to the mountains of northeast Georgia. I even captured 3 groups of 3 of these guys and released them at different locations between 1 and a half and 2 miles from my porch where this bench sits. That left 2 that I know of. Within 3 hours, 10 or 11 of them were buzzing around again. I believe the captives had found their way back and rejoined the group. Huh? Although they’ve made holes similar to those of the female carpenter bees, from my research I don’t believe they are–these are too social and carpenter bees don’t have the ”smiley face” characteristic that you can see in one of the images. Besides, I have carpenter bees on my property and they don’t look like them. They’re not aggressive, as I& #8217;ve sat among them–even bumping them–without getting stung; assuming they have stingers. I could easily kill them, but I don’t do that. I was tempted to sacrifice just one to determine if it had a stinger, but I couldn’t even bring myself to do that. (No, I’m not going to capture one and hold it in my closed fist just to see if it’ll sting me.) I’m really baffled; haven’t found an image that even closely resembles them. Obviously, I’m missing something. I know someone’s thinking that I unknowingly ”smuggled” them as larva inside the bench when I left Panama. I left there 12 years ago, and these showed up only 3 years ago. Please help. Thank you.
Signature: Rob Lane

Giant Resin Bee

Hi Rob,
The first thing we have to say is that your action photos are spectacular.  Though the Giant Resin Bee,
Megachile sculpturalis, is an introduced exotic species, you had nothing to do with its importation.  The Giant Resin Bees were introduced from Asia and they are now very well established in North America.  BugGuide indicates:  “They are opportunistic and nest in existing wooden cavities, rather than excavating their own. Effectively pollinate kudzu, another invasive species.”

 

Giant Resin Bees

Thank you, Daniel, for that rapid response. Had I seen any image like the ones in BugGuide (the link you provided) I’d’ve instantly recognized it. Although I said it, I didn’t mean that they actually “made” the holes like the carpenter bees do. This piece of cayuco was riddled with holes, and I did observe the “plugs” in their entrances near the end of their season.  Do you think that those nine I captured and released actually found their way back?
Oh, and thank you for the comment on the action photos. I credit them to my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ40 set at 1/160 shutter speed with flash.
Although I said that a cayuco is made from a hollowed-out tree, I failed to mention that it’s a boat (like a dugout canoe).
Regards,
Rob
For your interest I’ve included a few more images focusing on the wood of the cayuco:
This is stem of the boat; the flat part on the very bow. That hole at the upper right is cut completely through and is where the boatman would tie his anchor line. You can see traces of the resin, mud, or clay at the center of the stem.

Resin Bee Nest

Hi Again Rob,
We believe the Giant Resin Bees may have found their way back, but we cannot be certain.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination