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

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

Subject: Bee with Huge Mandibles
Location: Courtice, ontario CANADA
August 12, 2015 7:54 am
Hi Again
Found another type of Bee. This one I have no idea but it was so fuzzy like a teddy bear, really cute until it woke up and it has huge mandibles. Kind of scary but so beautiful.
Seems to be alot of different types of Bees living near this Arena (courtice), Courtice , Ontario off of Prestonvale road.
Signature: Terri

Unknown Bee

Leafcutter Bee

Dear Terri,
As usual, your images are stunning.  We are having difficulty identifying your Bee in the limited time we have this morning, so we have put our energy into creating a posting.  We will contact Eric Eaton to see if he can assist in the identification and meanwhile our readership may weigh in with comments.

Unknown Bee

Leafcutter Bee

Knowing us, we decided to give it one more try this morning.  The golden color and very furry front legs are interesting features, and we believe we found a matching image on the News Today blog where a similar image is identified as Megachile melanophaea and the following information is provided:  “HE MAY look soft and furry – but don’t be fooled. ‘Out of all the species of bees that I’ve photographed during this project, this little guy was the only one that actually looked up at me and bared its mandibles,’ says photographer Clay Bolt. … Female leafcutter bees chew small circles from the edge of leaves, and use these to form tubular cells. Into each tube, she deposits a ball of pollen and an egg. The larva will feed on the pollen when it hatches.  And the flamboyant gold leg manes? “Some males in this group have very furry front legs, which are used to cover the eyes of females during mating,” says Bolt. He speculates that this is to stop the females being distracted by other males during copulation.”  BugGuide indicates you live in the range of the Broad Banded Leafcutter Bee.

Unknown Bee

Leafcutter Bee

Eric Eaton Provides Input
Daniel:
Wow, spectacular images!  All I know is that it is a MALE Megachile sp.  I’ll leave it to John Ascher to determine what subgenus or whatever.  Males of some megachilids have those “fluffy” front legs.
Eric

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: cuckoo bee
Location: courtice ontario
August 8, 2015 12:59 pm
Hi again
sending this pic but I am pretty sure it is a cuckoo bee.
Signature: terri

Cuckoo Bee

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

Hi Terri,
Thanks for sending us more wonderful images, and using our standard form makes things so much easier for us.  We went on BugGuide to verify your identification, and though we tried, we could not find any images that look quite like your Cuckoo Bee.  The position it is resting in is quite different from anything on we found, though the images of the members of the Tribe Epeolini on BugGuide are the closest visual match to your individual.  We wonder if perhaps your images were taken early in the morning after the Cuckoo Bee had spent the night inactive, and that the heat of the day had still not warmed it to the point of activity.  If possible, can you please cite the source that led to your original identification along with any relevant links?

Cuckoo Bee

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

Hi Daniel
I did not really know for sure a friend of mine who takes photos of insects as well said it was a cuckoo bee and I took his word for it.
It was very early in the morning the tend to sleep at the top of grass or sticks and they wake up slowly so they are easy to photograph.
There were here the month of june and july but I have not found any lately in the month of august.
I was lucky I could take the photo wait for the sun to rise enough until they become active. They clean themselves and take off  to start the  day.
Thanks so much Terri
I am sending a few more photos here so you can see how he hangs upright on the twig

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

Eric Eaton Confirms
Wow!  That is a female cuckoo leafcutter bee, Coelioxys sp.  Can’t tell more because I’m not sure how to identify these to species, or if it is even possible from images alone.  They are cleptoparasites of real leafcutter bees.
Eric
author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America
http://bugeric.blogspot.com/

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

Cuckoo Leafcutter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Mystery bug hiding on lupine
Location: Sunol-Ohlone Wilderness, CA
April 15, 2015 7:31 pm
I was taking a photo of the bee on the lupine, and only noticed later the insect that was upside down on the stalk. I have no idea what it is, can you please help me identify it?
Signature: R. Battaglia

Solitary Bee shares Lupine with Snakefly

Solitary Bee shares Lupine with Snakefly

Dear R. Battaglia,
The insect hiding along the stalk of the lupine is a Snakefly, in the order Raphidioptera, and according to BugGuide:  “Both larvae and adults are predatory, though they are capable of catching and killing only small and weak prey. Snakefly larvae feed on eggs and larvae of various insects, as well as adults of minute arthropods (e.g. mites, springtails, barklice, and homopterans). Adults typically prefer aphids but may eat a wide variety of arthropods.”
  Though females possess an ovipositor that resembles a stinger, Snakeflies are harmless to humans.  We are very curious about your Solitary Bee because of our interest our own in native pollinators and their relationship to native plants.  This may be a Leafcutter Bee in the genus Megachile, and BugGuide has many subgenera represented, but alas, we would need input from someone with more experience to provide a definitive identification.

Dear Mr. Marlos,
Thank you for the Snakefly ID.  Regarding the bee, although that particular picture was taken in Sunol, I do have a healthy population of leafcutters in my yard in Pleasanton, as evidenced by the many notched leaves of my Redbud.  I’ve had a fabulous collection of native pollinators in my yard this year!
Thanks again,
Robyn

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Wasp like bug that stung my daughter
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
September 7, 2014 6:02 pm
Hi there! Tonight I went for a walk with my kids and my daughter put her hand on a chain and was stung by this little guy. We are in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. any idea what this bug is?
Signature: Lisa

Leafcutter Bee

Leafcutter Bee

Dear Lisa,
This is a solitary bee in the family Megachilidae, commonly called Mason Bees or Leafcutter (or Leafcutting) Bees.  According to BugGuide:  “Most are leaf-cutters, nesting in ground, in cavities, wood. Tunnels are bored in wood or in the ground. Cell is provisioned with pollen (and nectar?), an egg laid, and cell is sealed over with circular pieces of leaves that fit tightly into cavity.”
  According to Featured Creatures:  “Most leafcutting bees are moderately-sized (around the size of a honey bee, ranging from 5 mm to 24 mm), stout-bodied, black bees. The females, except the parasitic Coelioxys, carry pollen on hairs on the underside of the abdomen rather than on the hind legs like other bees. When a bee is carrying pollen, the underside of the abdomen appears light yellow to deep gold in color.”  WE are sorry to hear about your daughter’s sting, as this is not typical of encounters with Leafcutter Bees.

Leafcutter Bee

Leafcutter Bee

Thank you so much for the info! I am sure it just felt threatened as it would have been squished if my daughter grabbed the chain any harder. Thanks again!!
Lisa

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Perhaps a Leaf Cutter Bee?
Location: Coryell County, Texas
June 5, 2014 12:41 pm
Hello, I was photographing flowers in the yard when I noticed this bee. It has bright yellow under its abdomen. I wondered if it is pollen? I saw the beautiful leaf cutter bee posted last week and wondered if this one is similar.
Thanks!
Signature: Ellen

Leaf Cutter Bee

Leaf Cutter Bee

Hi Ellen,
We are jealous that you are getting to spend so much time in the garden.  We are still dealing with final examinations and presentations from our students.  You are correct.  This is a Leaf Cutter Bee in the genus
Megachile, and they do collect pollen on the underside of the abdomen.

Leaf Cutter Bee

Leaf Cutter Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination