Campus bee (Calliopsis andreniformis) may be found nesting gregariously in early summer in well-drained, high-traffic sites like playgrounds, dirt paths, sand mines, and ball fields. Both males and females are highly distinctive and can be identified in the field through binoculars. Look for females foraging on weedy legumes like clovers.
Active mid-June through August. One generation per year.
Widespread, almost always found close to human disturbed areas. Less common in rural areas and northern latitudes.
Size < honey bee
Males are brightly colored, with all yellow clypeus (top half of face is black), yellow markings on collar, bright yellow legs, and green eyes.
Females are more robust than the male, with protruding clypeus, three distinct cream-colored stripes on face, light-blue eyes, and a banded abdomen.
Both male and female are highly distinctive.
Calliopsis nebraskensis may occur in the northeast, but is a specialist of vervain (Verbena spp.); females have a larger, rounder pale area on the clypeus while males have less extensive pale areas on the face than C. andreniformis, with a dark edge to the top of the clypeus.
C. andreniformis prefers well draining, well-traveled paths for nesting like walking paths, ball fields, and construction sites. Often nests in large conspicuous aggregations.
Generalist, but often found on clovers (Trifolium spp.), other weedy legumes, and asters nearby nesting site.
Holcopasites calliopsidis is a cleptoparasite of C. andreniformis and often found near nesting aggregations. This cuckoo bee is distinctive for its red abdomen with pale markings and gnat-like appearance in flight as it hovers around the nesting site. Sphecodes brachycephalus is another possible cleptoparasite of C. andreniformis.
Page last updated:
February 22, 2023