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.

BeFunky-collage

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.

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