Hylaeus, Yellow-Faced Bee
Plasterer and Yellow-Faced Bees
- Habitat: Around flowers
- Range: Worldwide especially in the Southern Hemisphere
- Size: 3 - 18mm (1/8 - 3/4 inch)
- Species: 2,000
- Family: Colletidae
The Plasterer and Yellow-faced bees are the lesser known bees in the insect world. The Plasterer bee is similar to the Mining bee in that it digs holes in mud but it uses it's plasterer skills to improve it's nest. Yellow-faced bees as well as having a yellow face (of course) use hollow stems of plants to create their nests.
These bees are solitary bees meaning that they do not live in colonies. They have slender bodies which are fairly robust and most are dark colors, almost black and jet black. The hairs of the body are a pale golden color or sometimes white. The hairs on their abdomen form bands or stripes.
The Plasterer bee digs its holes in soil and create cells for its young to grow up in. These cells are created with a waterproof lining made from a substance that is secreted from the abdomen of the bee. The Colletes daviesanus, a Plasterer bee that is common in Europe, makes its nests in vertical faces on sandy cliffs. The Plasterer bee carries pollen on special pouches located on its hind legs.
The Yellow-Faced bee nests in hollow plants stems and into the burrows of wood-boring insects. These nests have cells for the larvae. The Yellow-Faced bee returns frequently to its nest to feed its young on regurgitated pollen and nectar. While most bees have adapted special pouches on their hind legs to carry the huge weight of pollen which they collect, the Yellow-faced bee has evolved a new method for transporting pollen. The Yellow-Faced bee carries pollen in a special pouch on the underside of its body which is called a crop.
The larvae vary in shape and size but are generally curved and look similar to maggots. The larvae are fed on honey and pollen.
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Plasterer and Yellow-Faced Bees: Colletidae: discover the fascinating lives of the various types of bees and wasps in the world.