The Sculptured Resin bee needs cavities in wooden structures. In addition to pollen, the females also carry resin into the nests. They use resin to seal their holes securely against predators. The busy females can be observed while building their nests. Bees emerge in summer months from July to mid-September. Take a close look at artificial nesting sites in your neighbourhood, maybe you will discover the Sculptured Resin bee.
Have you ever wondered what a bee nest looks like from the inside? Bees always build their nests according to the same principle: each larva gets its own brood cell filled with pollen. However, different wild bees use different materials for their nests.
The following video shows a female leaving her nest for the first time. She nibbles her way through the resin with her strong mouthparts.
The Sculptured Resin Bee collects resin for nest architecture. Females chew the resin until it is malleable. Then they cover and seal the individual brood chambers and holes with the resin. Such nest closures are indicators that the Sculptured Resin Bee has built its nests there.
In 2020, a participant was able to observe the Asian mortar bee building a nest on her balcony. She sent us important data regarding the competitive behaviour between females of the Asian Mortar Bee and Hole Bees(Heriades truncorum). As can be seen in her film, both wild bees use resin for their nest closure. The nests and associated bees are easy to tell apart - the Asian Mortar Bee looks huge at just under 3 cm long compared to the very small Hole Bee. She was able to observe a hole bee stealing resin and then being attacked by an Asian mortar bee. The hole bee did not survive the collision. You can find more information on competitive behaviour in our article "The Asian mortar bee - a new bee species for Austria"article.