The mortar bees, also known as the masonry bee, are a species of bee that is commonly seen throughout the world, including Australia, Europe, and North America. They are solitary bees that do not form colonies or hives.
- Mortar bees are small insects, usually measuring between 6mm and 20mm in length.
- They have a narrow and elongated body with a pointed head and short antennae.
- Their bodies are covered in hair and have distinctive markings, such as stripes or spots.
- The colour of mortar bees can vary, with some species having black and yellow stripes, while others have metallic green or blue colours. Females usually have 4 stripes while males have five.
- Mortar bees have two pairs of wings that are transparent and delicate in appearance.
- Their legs are also covered in hair and have special structures that allow them to collect and carry pollen back to their nests.
- Mortar bees do not possess stringers
- The female mortar bee will lay her eggs in underground burrows.
- The eggs hatch into larvae and feed on the food provided by the female. As they grow, they will molt several times and eventually pupate.
- During the pupae stage, the larvae will undergo metamorphosis and transform into adult bees. This stage lasts several weeks.
- Once the pupae stage is complete, the adult bee will emerge from the burrow and begin to forage for food.
- Mortar bees are solitary insects, and they are known for their ability to drill into wood or mortar to create their burrows. They collect nectar and pollen from flowers to feed themselves and their offspring.
- During the winter months, the larvae will remain in their cocoons, and the adults will die off. The cycle will repeat the following spring, with new adults emerging from the burrows.
- Mortar bees are solitary bees that build their nests in natural or man-made structures. They dig small holes into mortar or masonry, where they lay their eggs and provisions for their offspring.
- Unlike honey bees, mortar bees do not live in hives or form large colonies.
- Female mortar bees are responsible for gathering food and provisions to store in their nests. They collect nectar, pollen, and other insects to feed to their larvae.
- Unlike other bees, such as honey bees or wasps, mortar bees do not have stingers and are not aggressive. They are harmless to humans and other animals and pose no threat.
- Mortar bees are active during the spring and summer months. During the winter, they become inactive and remain inside their nests until the warmer weather returns.