8. Pests & Diseases

Ensure Bee Health

8.5 Summer - Leafcutter Bee Nesting

8.5 Summer - Leafcutter Bee Nesting

This pest may be found while your leafcutter bees are building their nests.

Parasitic Wasp: Sapyga spp. (Sapygid Wasps)

  • What It Is: Female sapygid wasps are fairly large wasps (about 1/3” long) and with their black and yellow bodies they look very similar to the well known social wasp, paper wasp, or hornet. There are a few different species of sapygid wasps and they may have white or yellow spots or a maroon band.
  • Effect on Bees: The female sapygid wasp finds a recently laid leafcutter bee nest and inserts her egg layer, laying an egg or two near the bee egg. Sapygid eggs hatch within 1-2 days and consume any other sapygid larva and the bee egg as well. The wasp larva eats the pollen loaf, spins a cocoon, and overwinters along with the neighboring bees. 
  • What You Can Do: If you find this large parasitic wasp hovering near your bee nesting holes, spray it with a fine mist of water to stun and then kill it.

Topic Completion

Pests & Diseases

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