Currently viewing the category: "Mason Bees and Leafcutter Bees"
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Wasp???
Location: Mount Dora, Florida
April 2, 2011 4:49 pm
It’s April 2, 2011 & Im in Central Florida. I went to reach into my night stand’s drawer for a chocolate & found 3 of these in there. I thought it was strange til I realized that I had put a cylinder in there from my wind chime. And yes, there was a nest in it. Anyway, I thought they were bees until I took a closer look. Am I right to assume that these are wasps?
Signature: Sunny

Leaf-Cutter Bee

Dear Sunny,
You were actually correct before you took a  closer look.  This is a Leaf-Cutter Bee in the family Megachilidae.  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.”  If you see perfectly cut circles cut from the leaves of your rose bushes, that is the work of the Leaf-Cutter Bee.  The slight cosmetic harm they cause to plants is greatly offset by the advantages of them pollinating flowers.  They are native bees, and there are many groups across the nation that are trying to educate the public regarding the benefits of protecting our native pollinators in the shadow of Colony Collapse Disorder.

Thank you so much! Yes, when I continued searching for an ID, I became aware that it had to be a bee. And yes, circular dark things came out of the cylinder. They were thinner than paper. I tried to get the bees to come back to it, but they didnt want to. I placed them on my tomato plant as you can see. I dont mind a little damage. I know the importance of bees. I will share this wonderful information with all my friends on Facebook. I want to thank you for all the wonderful information that you provide the world with & congratulate you on such a wonderful site. If it wasnt for you & your friends, I would never get to see the many neat creatures that God has created & continues to create.  =)
Bee Happy,
Sunny

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Bee identification
Location: Tacoma, WA
December 12, 2010 4:01 pm
I had never seen a bee collect pollen like this before? Can you please help me identify what kind of bee it is?
Signature: T Drivas

Leaf Cutting Bee

Dear T Drivas,
Your bee is a Leaf Cutting Bee in the genus
Megachile.  BugGuide also has images of Leaf Cutting Bees gathering pollen in this manner.  These wild bees are important pollinators.

Leaf Cutting Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Megachile?
Location: Hawthorne, California
December 10, 2010 6:27 pm
Just wondering if I have this bee correctly identified. If you can tell me what the other two guys are on the bloom in one of the photos, I’d be most appreciative.
Signature: Thanks, Anna

Leaf Cutting Bee

Hi Anna,
There is a good chance that your bee is a Leaf Cutting Bee in the genus
Megachile.  This is a genus that has been split into numerous subgenera, as evidences by the taxonomy on bugGuide.

Ed. Note: May 21, 2011
Now is one of those times that being more aware of insect anatomy and not making identifications based on superficial visual identifications would come in handy.  We no longer believe this is a Leaf Cutter Bee.  We don’t believe any Leaf Cutter Bees gather pollen on their legs.  It looks like this native Bee is gathering pollen on its legs, or perhaps it just has long yellow hairs on its legs.  We wish someone would write in and give us a clear cut explanation of what species of Bee this is.  I am going to include more native Bees in my Theodore Payne Foundation talk on Saturday, 28 May, 2011 at 1:00 PM.

Probably Plant Bugs with Leaf Cutting Bee

We believe the tiny Hemipterans in your photo are probably Plant Bugs in the family Miridae, but your photo isn’t detailed enough to provide any tangible evidence toward that speculation.  According to Bugguide, Plant Bugs in the family Miridae are usually “adults 2-15 mm.

Quite Possibly a Plant Bug

Update from Anna:  August 20, 2011
Hi Daniel,
I finally got an answer from Steve Thoenes:
“I asked my friend Steve Buchmann and he wrote  the top one (on pink flower) is an Anthophora female, not sure of the  species.”
Hope this is of some help,

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Fly mimics a Bumble Bee and is inverted!
Location:  Fairfield, Maine USA
August 23, 2010 12:35 pm
Dear bugman,
I thought this was a bumble bee at first, but then it flew near me and it flew like a hummingbird. Another very distinctive trait that does not show in my pictures, was that its abdomen was curling upward (in profile) toward the sky, instead of the typical downward curl profile I see most bees doing. Sorry it’s really hard to describe and the thing was so active I lost track of it almost immediately. Anyway, I am very curious to know what this was, so here are the only pictures I could get. Not bad, but sort of simpilar viewpoints…
Thank you,
James R

Leafcutter Bee

Hi James,
This is one of the Leaf-Cutting Bee in the genus
Megachile, a large and complicated genus that would require an expert to identify the species.  According to BugGuide:  “Most nest in pre-existent holes in wood. Female typically cuts neat, more-or-less round pieces out of leaves to serve as separators between cells of nest.

Hi Daniel,
Thank you so much for the rapid identification!
It’s always exciting to learn a bit about an insect I’ve never seen or heard of before.
Best wishes,
James

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Black insect with thin yellow stripes and ?stinging and/or biting capabilities
Location:  Palo Alto, CA
August 22, 2010 4:41 pm
Dear What’s That Bug,
I had a most unfortunate experience last night and this morning, and I was wondering if you could help me identify *what* it was. A few times during the night I awoke to a buzzing sound in my ear, though I couldn’t find the source. Shortly after I woke up, I felt a sharp pain on my wrist, then a bit later a few more on my back. These became 3 mm tall welts with a sunken poke mark in the middle.
Eventually, I found the source: a black insect with four thin yellow stripes on the last segment. It has something that looks like a short and thin stinger at the end and a pair of pinchers on the head (please excuse my terminology — I have some botanical training, but not entomological!). It also has narrow wings that it usually keeps folded on its body such that it’s hard to see them. Oh, but the insect does fly! There might even be a second, smaller pair of wings under the first, but it’s hard for me to see.
Could you please tell me what this is? I’ve seen these around before, but had never been assaulted by one!
Much thanks,
Bitten and/or stung

Leaf Cutting Bee

Dear Bitten and/or stung,
We suspect you were probably stung, though we are not certain if the sting of a Leaf Cutting Bee in the genus
Megachile brings certain death as it does in a Honey Bee worker.  The jaws of a Leaf Cutting Bee are quite pronounced, and perhaps the bite may have caused the reaction you describe.   According to BugGuide:  “Most nest in pre-existent holes in wood. Female typically cuts neat, more-or-less round pieces out of leaves to serve as separators between cells of nest”  and the young feed on a variety of pollens.  Sadly, we fished a drowning Leaf Cutting Bee from our birdbath yesterday and it died.  According to Charles Hogue in Insects of the Los Angeles Basin:  “”Neatly cut semicircular notches in the leaf edges of one’s rose bushes indicate the presence of these solitary bees in the neighborhood.”

Leaf Cutting Bee

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

I’m Baffled
Hi I love this site for all my buggy needs I found today in my garden under the soil these tightly wrapped leafs with a yellow stuff inside. When I squished one it was really sick. There were several of them in a location. Any Idea as to what it is? I never took and pictures but I did find one on the web that someone took but they never knew what it was too Please help me identify this
Barb

Hi Barb,
We are guessing that because you sent us this photo, you consider posting to our site as an authorized use. We have cropped out the copyright plantfreak78, 2008 and unauthorized use prohibited information as well as the mention of Dave’s Garden website that we occasionally cite on our site because of size constraints. You have uncovered the nest of a native Leafcutter Bee. They cut leaves and roll them and fill them with pollen before laying eggs. Leafcutter Bees are important native pollinators, but their solitary behavior does not make them candidates for exploitation like the domestic Honey Bee.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination