Squash Bee – Peponapis
The squash bee a native specialist that at first glance might be appear similar to the honey bee, but only pollinates flowers in the squash family. This genus is represented by 13 species with only one, Peponapis pruinosa, found in the eastern United States.
As ground nesting bees, the females often nest beneath the very plants they pollinate. They are known for nesting in large aggregations and their nesting chambers may be two feet deep. The developing larvae will emerge the following summer coinciding with the squash blossoms.
Male squash bees sleep in the flowers they pollinate and are up working long before other bees become active, allowing them more active pollination time in comparison to other bees.