The month of August in my North American Native Bee Calendar purchased from the Great Sunflower Project, features the Squash Bee, genus Peponapis. These bees emerge in late summer and nest in the ground.
They are about 1/2 inch in length. Both the males and females are fuzzy and golden. Males have a yellow spot on their face and particularly long antennae. Clusters of males can be found sleeping in squash flowers in the afternoon. Females forage for pollen and nectar in early morning. To see a picture of the squash bee, click here. (To see the image in a new window, control or apple click.)
Pollen and nectar sources are limited to the Cucurbita genus – i.e. blossoms of pumpkins, squash and gourds. Research suggests that these bees are responsible for pollinating 80% of our cultivated squashes.
I’ll be sure to keep checking my cucumber blossoms for any napping bees!