Colletids are a relatively small family of bees that make up a small percentage of the bee fauna in almost any geographic area . Because of their more restricted geographic range and primitive morphological features, this family is thought to have very ancient origins .
Two subfamilies comprise this group, the plasterer bees (subfamily Colletinae) and the Yellow-faced bees (subfamily Hylaeinae). Plasterer bees get their name from the practice of lining their nests with a thin, translucent, cellophane-like substance [1,3].
The name “yellow-faced” bees derives from the yellow coloration of their faces. Unlike many bees, these yellow-face bees tend to be sparsely haired and quite wasp-like in appearance. Thus far, records from the USDA-ARS National Pollinating Insect Database in Logan, Utah, show that only two species of Hylaeus have been found in Latah or Whitman Counties. (See our species table).
Hylaeus are small bees that nest in plant stems or small cavities, and, like all colletids, they line their nest cells with a cellophane-like material . Unlike other bees, colletids lack scopae. They carry nectar and pollen in their crop .
1. Michener, 2007
2. Stephen et al., 1969
3. Triplehorn and Johnson, 2005