Subject: Small yellow and black bees in my bathroom
Location: Northeast Ohio
August 5, 2016 11:01 am
We are in the suburbs of Akron, Ohio, near Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We’ve had several very small bees come in through our bathroom exhaust fan. They are 1 cm long and have broken yellow stripes across their back. Most of them are dead by the time we Find them on the bathroom floor, but we have relocated 2 living bees back to the great outdoors. Those 2 seemed very docile. I’m an environmental educator but I can’t find this little bee in my guides or in my memory banks. Can you help me identify them please?
Signature: Cuyahoga Claudia
Dear Cuyahoga Claudia,
This is an introduced European Wool Carder Bee, Anthidium manicatum, which you can verify by comparing your images to images of living individuals on BugGuide. According to BugGuide: “Females collect “wool” from downy plants such as Lamb’s Ears to line their nest cavities” and “Introduced from Europe before 1963; spreading throughout NE. & W. NA”. The fact that it is an imported species may account for its lack of inclusion in guide books.
Thank you so much! I came across a picture of a wool carder bee shortly after I sent in my message and thought it was the closest I had seen, but I still wasn’t sure. I hope they stop flinging themselves to their death through my exhaust fan- they’re beautiful little bees!