Saturday, April 07, 2012

Nomada Bee

I found this bee in the backyard yesterday afternoon. It looks outwardly like a wasp, but I think it is actually a cuckoo bee in the genus Nomada. Cuckoo bees are cleptoparasites, which means that they lay their eggs in the nest burrows of other bees, in this case bees in the families Andrenidae and Halictidae. Nomada larvae eat the nectar and pollen gathered by the host for its own offspring. Nomada bees look very similar to wasps, so much so that it is easy to mistake one for the other.