Monday, December 13, 2010

December's Featured Bee

Last but not least, for the month of December the 2010 North American Native Bee Calendar features the Cuckoo Bee, genus Nomada.

Cuckoo Bees emerge in spring and early summer. Bees of this species are cleptoparasites – meaning they lay their eggs in the nests of other bees. Their offspring will then feed off the provisions that were stored and provided for their hosts. Females will hunt for, and detect the specific scent of, ground nesting Andrena species. Because females do not have to forage for their own young, they lack specialized hairs for carrying pollen and are most likely seen flying along the ground hunting for potential host nests.

Cuckoo bees are small bees with a thick cuticle to withstand attack from their hosts. They often have wasp-like features and coloring. Newly hatched larvae have specially shaped jaws for destroying their hosts.

To view images of Cuckoo Bees, click here. (Control or apple click to open the images in a new tab or window).

Favorite nectar sources of Cuckoo Bees include erigeron (fleabane) and grindelia (gumweed).

There you have it – a year's worth of native North American bees. Hope you enjoyed.


  1. Aren't the bees pretty things? At first I thought they were recent pictures and I thought it was awfully cold for bees. After reading further I realized my misconception and learned a little something in the process. I have enjoyed reading your blog and watching your progress with your gardening.

    Your blog is Featured Site of the Week at Nature Center Magazine.

    Emma Springfield

  2. Bees are fun to watch but really make a garden grow when attracted. I have often placed flowers and vegetables together.I enjoy sitting out on the prairie in a large area of bloom and just listening to their hum.

  3. How very exciting! Thank you so very much Emma! There are so many wonderful blogs out there and I just enjoy making a journal of my garden in the making - leaning towards creating a refuge / habitat for wildlife in a small village. I am truly honored and deeply flattered. Thank you, thank you.


Thank you for joining me in my garden in the making!

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