Megachile campanulae (Resin bee)
This species is in the genus Megachile. The genus Megachile is known by the common name “leaf cutter bees” because many members cut out circular or oval pieces of leaves and use them to line their nests. There are some exceptions; some Megachile use tree resin and others use chewed vegetation and mud in addition to leaf pieces. Megachile campanulae were fairly common in Bee Atlas blocks and primarily nested in the southern half of the state, in the Prairie Parkland and Eastern Broadleaf Forest biomes.
Megachile are all pretty much characterized by their large chewing mandibles and the scopa (pollen-collecting hairs) under the females' abdomens to carry pollen. M. campanulae has subtle differences from other Megachile species. They generally appear darker and have less hair; their bodies look a bit more armored and their abdomens, instead of tapering to a point, are parallel sided along their entire length. They resemble large Heriades carinata at first glance, but are not quite as coarsely sculpted and have rounder faces. Megachile campanulae range from 8-11mm long.
Megachile campanulae are unusual for their genus because they use resin to build their nests instead of leaves (see graph in pictures). The resin tends to be darker colored, and may have bits of sand, leaves, wood, or debris stuck in it. Resin plugs can be distinguished from other plugs because they are either tacky or rock hard, not papery or flexible. Sometimes if you press lightly with your fingernail you can see an indent left in the newer, tacky plugs, and you may even notice a "piney" smell.
Megachile campanulae most frequently nested in lower column 3 (3/16") and upper column 2 (1/4") holes in Bee Atlas blocks. They also sometimes nested in lower column 2 (5/16") and occasionally in larger holes. (see graph in pictures)
Univoltine, meaning they complete one generation per year in Minnesota.
Megachile campanulae are active in mid-summer. From 2016-2018, most nests were completed between the beginning of June and the middle of August in Bee Atlas blocks. (see graph in pictures)
No information at this time.
Minnesota Record Map
These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.
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