Facts about Cellophane Bees, Cellophane Bees The cellophane bees are also commonly known as plasterer bees or polyester bees. The name is generally inspired by their secretion of a bio-plastic waterproof material. Basically, there are over 100 species of cellophane bees in North America alone. The scientists are trying to study this kind of bees as a way of creating bio-friendly plastics. The cellophane bee belongs to the family known as colletids making them cousins to the bumblebee and honey bee.
Physical Description of Cellophane bees
The cellophane bee resembles some Halictus and Andrrena, though the head of polyester bee is more tapered giving it a heart-shaped appearance. In their fore wing they have a curvy vein that helps distinguish the bee.
Cellophane bees are slender with a moderately haired body. Basically, they have small to moderately large body ranging from 9 to 13 mm in length. Their abdomen is covered with pale stripes of hair. Cellophane bees carry the pollen in scopae situated on their hind legs covering the upper to the lower part.
Cellophane bees Behavior
During the early spring, the cellophanes are among the first to emerge. The bees in this family do line their nests with polyester like secretion using the unique two-lobe tipped tongue. This membrane like substance helps in protecting the young bees from the fungal diseases, as they also act as waterproof barrier. This membrane is quite effective that cellophane bees can occupy regions that are prone to floods.
As much as cellophane bees are solitary nesters, they tend to nest in large groups. They seek nest sites are in sandy areas with somehow thin vegetation Another intriguing feature is their different approach of stocking food for their young ones; unlike most type of bees which stock the brood cells with pollen and then after they lay the egg on top, the cellophane bees will leave food on the cells and then suspend the egg on the cell wall just above the food.
Cellophane bees also secrete linalool which is a bactericide and fungicide from a gland located near their mandibles. They also seal off the entrance to the brood cells after laying the egg; this assures survival for their younger ones despite the fact that another special parasite fly known as Miltogramma punctatum threaten its survival.
Polyester bees are regarded as excellent pollinators of several plants. At the moment they are known to be good pollinators of hollies, tulip trees, and apples.
Cellophane bees that nest on the ground are harmless to humans and it is quite clear that their sting doesn’t penetrate the human skin; they are quite mild that they can literary wait for you to move from the entrance of their nests. Particularly they feed on nectar and pollen.
Cellophane Bees Habitat
The Cellophane Bees prefer habitat abundant with supply of pollen and nectar-rich blooms as provides them with stock of feed for them and their young ones, and definitely a suitable habitat for nesting. As stated earlier, these bees have the ability to nest in damp soil as they can produce a cellophane-like membrane that is waterproof to cover the walls of the nests. Scientific name for Bee (Hymenoptera) means -membranous wings- this large variety of insects have four transparent wings and the females typically have a sting. includes ants, bees, wasps, horntails, and sawflies.
There are three types of bees in the Cellophane Bee hive, a Drone, Worker and the Queen. A worker bee will die if she uses her stinger.
The hind legs of the Cellophane Bees carry pollen in them and it is called a pollen baskets. Pollen is the protein for which the baby bee needs to grow.
A Cellophane Bee has two stomachs, the first stomach is for eating and the other stomach is specially designed for storing nectar collected from flowers and water, for making it possible to carry it back to the hive.
Cellophane Bees fall in the classification of insects with six legs. Bees have five eyes; three tiny ocelli eyes and two compound eyes.
The Cellophane Bees have four stages of life, Eggs, Larvae, Pupae and Full grown Bee. "Fear of bees apiphobia".