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Old 07-29-2011, 12:09 PM   #1
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Default Squash bee native solitary doing the job

Took a couple of pictures of these squash bees this morning. Hard to get a good picture so deep are the big blooms.
Squash bees are ground nesters so be on the lookout.


http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=16595

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Today, we know from intensive sampling efforts plus museum label data that squash bees are found throughout most of the US and SE Canada, southward through Mexico to near Buenos Aires, Argentina, Uruguay and thence across through S Brazil. Peponapis are proving to be abundant and effective, a first case for unmanaged, native non-social bees playing a key role for production of an agricultural crop at the continental scale. As a practical matter, their recognition and stewardship by farmers and gardeners will translate directly into production and sales, while in many cases diminishing the need to rent honey bee colonies.
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Squash bee native solitary doing the job-beesjuly2011-013.jpg   Squash bee native solitary doing the job-beesjuly2011-014.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2011, 04:21 PM   #2
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Took a couple of pictures of these squash bees this morning. Hard to get a good picture so deep are the big blooms.
Squash bees are ground nesters so be on the lookout.


Pollinating Insects-- Biology, Management and Systematics Research : Squash Pollination
Nice catch! I was wondering about those specialist bees. They must have the capability to travel good distances. What if, after your squash stops blooming, that there are no others in the area?? What do those bees do??
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:22 PM   #3
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Squash bees do not emerge until July. They live and breed while the summer squash,winter squash and pumpkins as well as gourds including a few wild vines like coyote gourd continue to bloom. Which even with one vine is a long time. The squash bees collect pollen and provision the eggs they lay then die. As long as each female lays a few eggs the next years squash bees are assured. Remember that unlike hive bees every single female lays eggs . There are no worker bees to go for supplies. Each female does it all for her own nest.

Great videos (Not mine) of squash bees and the sometimes called sunflower bee Melissodes.







a picture from our garden today of a melissodes.
This bee was moving so fast I could not get a clear shot...lol
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Squash bee native solitary doing the job-beesjuly2011-021.jpg   Squash bee native solitary doing the job-beesjuly2011-022.jpg   Squash bee native solitary doing the job-beesjuly2011-023.jpg  
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:26 PM   #4
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Remember that unlike hive bees every single female lays eggs . There are no worker bees to go for supplies. Each female does it all for her own nest.
What does the male do?
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:38 PM   #5
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Drinks (nectar) and mates with the females. Thats it. Oh yes he sleeps in the blossoms while the female stays in the nest when not foraging.
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Old 07-29-2011, 09:54 PM   #6
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Drinks (nectar) and mates with the females. Thats it. Oh yes he sleeps in the blossoms while the female stays in the nest when not foraging.
Interesting.

Thanks for not saying "typical man".
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:03 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
Squash bees do not emerge until July. They live and breed while the summer squash,winter squash and pumpkins as well as gourds including a few wild vines like coyote gourd continue to bloom. Which even with one vine is a long time. The squash bees collect pollen and provision the eggs they lay then die. As long as each female lays a few eggs the next years squash bees are assured. Remember that unlike hive bees every single female lays eggs . There are no worker bees to go for supplies. Each female does it all for her own nest.

Great videos (Not mine) of squash bees and the sometimes called sunflower bee Melissodes.

‪Squash Bee Peponapis & Sunflower Bee Melissodes agilis in Ontario 1‬‏ - YouTube


‪Squash Bee Peponapis & Sunflower Bee Melissodes agilis in Ontario 2‬‏ - YouTube




a picture from our garden today of a melissodes.
This bee was moving so fast I could not get a clear shot...lol

Incredible videos. Makes one really appreciate what youtube has done for the world of information acquisition. So, I imagine the males are congregating waiting to fertilize the females who are yet to arrive, and then their jobs are done?? (My kind of work)

So, as I do have a couple of winter squash plants going, and as they have formed squash from the flowers, I must have had this species here? In the absence of these bees, are their other pollinators who would do the job??
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Old 07-29-2011, 10:24 PM   #8
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Honey bees can do the job as do bumbles.But squash bees are most efficient at the job.The pollen in squash is large heavy grains that honey bees stuggle with. Look into squash blossoms early morning or open a few closed blossoms in late afternoon to maybe find a dozing male.
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Old 08-01-2011, 02:46 PM   #9
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A few really good links for native bee information

http://www.xerces.org/download/pdf/PA_Pocket_Guide.pdf

http://www.xerces.org/download/pdf/P...es%20Guide.pdf

http://www.xerces.org/wp-content/upl...-benefits1.pdf
third link has good pictures and info

Most common other than bumble east of country.
Andrena cragini
Andrena daeckei
Andrena duplicata
Andrena helianthiformis
Andrena ignota
Andrena irrasus
Andrena lamelliterga
Andrena mendica
Andrena peckhami
Andrena wilmattae
Caupolicana electa
Centris errans
Coelioxys bisoncornua
Colletes andrewsi
Colletes ciliatus
Colletes longifacies
Colletes titusensis
Epeolus banksi
Epeolus canadensis
Epeolus carolinus
Epeolus floridensis
Epeolus lanhami
Epeolus vernalis
Hesperapis oraria
Hylaeus flammipes
Hylaeus formosus
Hylaeus volusiensis
Lasioglossum alachuense
Lasioglossum stuartense
Macropis patellata
Macropis steironematis
Megachile bahamensis
Megachile ingenua
Megachile integrella
Megachile oenotherae
Melissodes fimbriata
Melissodes manipularis
Melissodes pilleata
Nomada aquilarum
Nomada augustiana
Nomada micheneri
Nomada seneciophila
Nomada vincta
Osmia hyperborea
Osmia illinoensis
Osmia svenssoni
Perdita floridensis
Perdita graenicheri
Perdita krombeini
Perdita mitchelli
Perdita nubila
Perdita obscurata
Perdita townesi
Pseudopanurgus helianthi
Pseudopanurgus pauper
Sphecodes crawfordi
Sphecodes exaltus
Sphecodes galerus
Sphecodes nigricorpus
Sphecodes paraplesius
Sphecodes smilacinae
Sphecodes trentonensis
Stelis permaculata
Trachusa crassipes
Trachusa dorsalis
Triepeolus micropygius
Triepeolus mitchelli
Triepeolus monardae
Triepeolus nigrihirtus
Triepeolus quadrifasciatus atlanticus
Triepeolus rufithorax
Xeromelecta interrupta
Lasioglossum dubitatum
Lasioglossum wheeleri
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:01 AM   #10
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Watch these videos they are fun.



Sweat Bee: pictures, information, classification and more



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A wide range of social development is displayed in the family. Some species, such as the common eastern sweat bee, have been intensively studied. Many insights into the evolution of social behavior among insects have been learned from sweat bees. Many species are solitary-that is, the female builds and occupies its nest alone. This is considered the basic, most primitive nesting behavior. In some sweat bee species, females nest communally, sharing a common nest entrance but constructing cells individually. Many species, including the common eastern sweat bee, show varying levels of sociality, passing through a continuum of stages in social development. In these species, there may be several egg-laying "queens" with the other nest mates functioning as workers. Sometimes generations of these bees overlap and live together and there may be a division of labor among nest mates. However, unlike many social bees, such as honey bees, there is little communication between adults.


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