I was so happy to finally find a nice aggregation of ground-nesting leafcutter bees and it was fitting that I was able to do so on Mother’s Day since many mothers-to-be were hard at work provisioning their nests with carefully (and quickly) cut pieces of leaves to serve as linings for the developmental cells of their young. Project advisor John Ascher suggests Subgenus Megachiloides as the genus with potential species including rubi, integra, and integrella. I need to do a little digging of my own before I lean…

This past September I paid a visit to Madison, Wisconsin where I was searching for the Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis); a species that is in serious decline due to an introduced pathogen. I was fortunate to not only find the RPBB but also many other species that share the same habitat. One insect that really made an impression on me was this male Fuzzy-legged Leafcutter Bee (Megachile melanophaea). Most bees are more interested in escaping once I’ve netted them for photography. However this impressive creature stood…

We are all familiar with Bumble Bees, but did you realize that some Bombus species are actually nest parasites of other Bumble Bees? This rather disheveled looking bee is the Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee (Bombus (Psithyrus) citrinus) (a male), which is a parasite of the Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) and the Half-black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans). After sneaking her way into the host colony, a female Lemon Cuckoo Bumble Bee dispatches the queen and takes control of the nest’s workers who soon begin to feed her…