Cellophane Bee / Polyester Bee

Cellophane or Polyester Bee- Colletes

Cellophane bees are a diverse group of solitary ground nesting bees represented by over 100 North America species. They resemble and share a similar lifestyle to mining bees and some sweat bees.


Colletes inaequalis is an early spring bee that emerges in late March and early April.

The females will often nest in large aggregations making shallow brood cells only 4 to 6 inches deep. These bees line their brood cells with completely waterproof cellophane-like substance allowing them to nest in very wet areas. This material has been studied as a natural plastic substitute that can decompose in as little as five years. The polyester bee provisions her eggs with a liquid form of nectar and pollen.

Colletes latitarsis (Broad-footed cellophane bee) is a specialist of plants in the Pyhsaylis family which included tomatillo’s.

Colletes Thoracicus at Stony Kill Farm. This was a 1/10 acre aggregation of bees in a field that had been previously plowed to reseeded hay fields.

5 replies »

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s