Currently viewing the category: "Mason Bees and Leafcutter Bees"
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Bee or fly identification
Location: Southern Tanzania
December 31, 2016 5:58 pm
Can you please identify this bee/fly?
Signature: Helen

Probably Mason Bee

Probably Mason Bee

Dear Helen,
Because it so resembles the Giant Resin Bee, we thought your Bee (definitely NOT a fly which would only have two wings) might also be a Mason Bee in the genus
Megachile.  We located many similar looking Mason Bees on iSpot including this individual and this individual.

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Subject: Potter/Mason wasp?
Location: South Florida
September 7, 2016 8:14 pm
Sept 7, 2016 in my backyard I noticed a black and white bee-sized critter nectaring on Spanish Needle flowers. I hadn’t seen its like before and while I think it’s something in the Potter/Mason wasp tribe I was unable to locate any images on the ‘net that matched it.
Signature: Curious in Florida

Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee

Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee

Dear Curious in Florida,
Based on images posted to BugGuide, we believe we have correctly identified your Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee,
Coelioxys modesta.  According to BugGuide, the range is:  “Nebraska to Quebec and the New England states, south to Texas and Florida.”  According to Nature Search:  “This cleptoparasitic bee is approximately 3/8” in length.  The head is large and black with black eyes.  The thorax is black with light gray and black colored fuzz.  The abdomen is black with thin white bands.  Females have a pointed abdomen and males have tooth-like projections at the tip of the cone-shaped abdomen” and “This species is cleptoparasitic on other bees in this family.  The female uses her pointed abdomen to break into Megachile nests.  She removes the host egg and lays her egg in the nest.  The larva kills the occupant and then eats the pollen and nectar stores intended for the offspring of its host.  The female lacks the pollen brush under the abdomen typical of other bees in this family.”

Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee

Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee

Thank you! I had dismissed it as a bee because it was not gathering pollen and because the wings seemed wasplike. Live and learn. :^) I appreciate your generous sharing of information on all the unappreciated creeping, crawling and flying critters of the world.

Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee

Modest Cuckoo Leaf-Cutter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Small yellow and black bees in my bathroom
Location: Northeast Ohio
August 5, 2016 11:01 am
Hi bugman,
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

European Wool Carder Bee

European Wool Carder Bee

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.

European Wool Carder Bee

European Wool Carder Bee

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!
Thanks again,
Claudia

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Washington State Solitary Bee
Location: Washington, USA
June 23, 2016 11:40 pm
I found this odd unfurred black bee roaming around while we were planting flowers, and we figured it must be some sort of solitary bee, as there was only one at the time.
Signature: Wesley Grubbs

Leaf Cutter Bee

Leaf-Cutter Bee

Dear Wesley,
We believe this is a Leaf-Cutter Bee in the genus Megachile, a large and diverse genus.  It resembles the image of
Megachile relativa which is pictured on BugGuide, and the species has been reported from nearby British Columbia.

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Subject: Unusual bees in Southern California
Location: 90066
June 22, 2016 5:48 pm
I’ve been seeing these bees in my garden occasionally, and I haven’t been able to identify them. It’s about the size of a honey bee, but fuzzier and grayer. They seem to like yellow flowers best, especially cosmos. Do you know what they are? Where can I find more information about them?
PS: Great web site. This is an incredibly helpful resource.
Signature: Sunny in Mar Vista

Solitary Bee

Possibly Furry Leafcutter Bee

Dear Sunny,
According to BugGuide, there are 3500 species of Bees in North America.  We are guessing your white bee might be a Furry Leafcutter Bee,
Megachile perihirta, based on this BugGuide image, and according to BugGuide‘s data, there have been California sightings from May through October.  We will attempt to identify your second Solitary Bee, though we may just contact Eric Eaton to get his input as we anticipate difficulty securing an accurate identification if left to our own devices.

Solitary Bee

Solitary Bee

Thanks for the information. I didn’t realize these were 2 different species.

Solitary Bee

Solitary Bee

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Subject: What’s this nest?
Location: Sterling, Virginia Usa
May 13, 2016 1:22 pm
Hi !
My mother in law lives in Sterling Va
And has got this nest in the eves of her porch.
We Would really like to know what it is!
Many thanks
Signature: Rich

Solitary Bee Nest

Solitary Bee Nest

Dear Rich,
This is the nest of a solitary Bee that has been provisioned with pollen to feed the developing larvae.  We suspect it is a Mason Bee Nest based on this image on Warren PHotographic.  Solitary Bees are not aggressive and this nest poses no threat to your mother in law.

Thanks Daniel!
And thanks for the speedy reply!
I’ll let her know. She’ll be relieved it’s not a wasps nest.
All the best to you and your team.
Rich.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination