Often mistaken for honeybees, squash bees are found populating much of the United States and Mexico. These bees are important pollinators of genus Cucurbita plants that include zucchini, pumpkins, summer squash, winter squash, and other gourds; excluding cucumbers. A very recognizable distinction in their behavior is before other bees are active; they start visiting these flowers starting around sunrise. We at A Five Star Termite and Pest Control would like elaborate some on squash bees that are frequently found hard at work in Greater San Antonio, Texas.
What Do Squash Bees Look Like?
As mentioned, squash bees’ general size and coloration resemble the honeybees. However, if you were to compare the two species side by side, squash bees are a little larger, bulkier, have rounder faces and larger antennae. Another distinguishing physical characteristic is that females hind legs differ; being fuzzy and often covered in loose pollen whereas the worker honeybees have smooth, flat hind legs onto which they pack compact balls of pollen. Both males and females have fuzzy legs, but males do not carry pollen, but the males do have a yellow spot on their face where the females are entirely dark.
Squash Bees Nest Habitats
Squash bees are solitary bees that nest in the ground. Females will dig her individual nest in the loose soil where she collects pollen and nectar to feed her offspring. Typically, the adults are more active in the mi-summer, from June to August. During the rest of the year, squash bees stay underground to develop with the nest cells the mother bee constructed. Males typically nest in the flowers and the females and males mate there as well.
Squash Bees Pollination
Squash bees are a beneficial bee, like most bees. Where they exclusively pollinate from genus Cucurbita plants, it is essential because the pollen is heavy and can’t be dispersed by wind. To fully pollinate a female squash flower, it takes to fully pollinate a female squash flower. These flowers open at dawn, which is why the bees are early risers, foraging at this time. Though honeybees and bumblebees can be effective pollinators for squash they are not necessary with the squash bees around. It is estimated that squash bees pollinate approximately 2/3 of the commercially grown squash in the United States alone. They are especially useful with regular visits to suburban vegetable gardens.
Do Squash Bees Sting?
Though these bees’ erratic flight patterns might seem aggressive, they are actually fairly docile. They only sting if provoked. Males do not feature a stinger and typically females where prefer flight to fight. Though they do not live socially, it is likely to spot a small population nesting in the same location where their squash plants nearby to be conveniently close to their food source.
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Though squash bees are harmless and beneficial, people can find they are allergic to bee stings and prefer not to have them too close. If you rather avoid any potential stings that can trigger your allergic reactions, call the leading of experts of A Five Star Termite and Pest Control for assistance. Our trained experts can help you resolve the situation quickly and efficiently.