• Family: Megachilidae
  • Tribe: Megachilini
  • Approximate # species in region: 30
  • Common name: leaf-cutter bees, resin bees

Megachile is a widespread and highly diverse genera of bees. They range in size from 0.25x to 1.5x the size of a honey bee. Megachile females transport pollen beneath their abdomens (often holding up their abdomens while foraging). They are united by their varied nesting strategies. Females build linear nests that they line with natural materials such as leaves, plant fibers, resin, petals, and in some cases artificial materials like plastic bag pieces. Although they are most well known as inhabitants of bee hotels, many species can nest both above and below ground, and still others prefer to nest exclusively below ground.

Species covered:

Scientific NameCommon NamePhenologyHabitatForage
Megachile pugnataPugnacious leafcutter beeSummerWidespread, gardens, backyardsAsteraceae, esp. Helianthus
Megachile xylocopoidesCarpenter leafcutter-mimic beeSummerWidespread, gardens, backyards (mainly SE U.S.)Asteraceae
Megachile sculpturalisSculptured resin beeSummer/FallWidespead, gardens, backyardsGeneralized