Solitary bees are very common in Colorado but seldom noticed. Ninety percent of bee species are solitary types including leafcutter, digger, sweat and carpenter bees. These bees are seldom seen because of their habits and in some cases fast movements. More than likely, a homeowner would notice the signs of their presence rather than the bee itself. An example is the circular leaf section removed by leafcutter bees.
Although female solitary bees are capable of stinging, they are not aggressive and control measures are usually unnecessary. Solitary bees are considered beneficial because they pollinate both crops and native plants. Leafcutter bees are considered to be a more effective pollinator of alfalfa than are honeybees.
Unless someone is allergic to bee stings, homeowners should not be concerned if they find a few solitary bees nesting in their yard.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
For more information, see the following Planttalk Colorado™ script(s).
Do you have a question? Try Ask an Expert!
Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013