Ivy Cellophane Bee (Colletes hederae)

Welcome to the fascinating world of the Ivy Cellophane Bee! These tiny yet vital pollinators play a crucial role in our ecosystems. Join me as we explore the captivating details of the Colletes hederae species, uncovering their unique characteristics, behaviors, and ecological significance.

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The Ivy Cellophane Bee, scientifically known as Colletes hederae, belongs to the family Colletidae within the order Hymenoptera. These solitary bees are essential pollinators, contributing to the diversity and health of plant communities.


The genus name Colletes is derived from the Greek word “kolletes,” meaning “to gather,” reflecting their role as collectors of floral resources. The species name hederae likely references their close association with ivy plants, a preferred habitat for these bees.

Physical Characteristics

When identifying the Ivy Cellophane Bee, several key traits are essential to take note of:

  • Body Shape: Typically apiform
  • Coloring: Predominantly black with distinctive light-colored bands
  • Antennae: Relatively short
  • Hair: The bees possess a dense covering of short, fine hairs on their bodies
  • Abdomen: Striped pattern along the segments

In addition, these bees are generally small in size with intricate wing venation and exhibit specialized structures for carrying pollen.

Ecological Significance

As efficient pollinators, Ivy Cellophane Bees play a crucial role in the reproduction of various plant species. By transferring pollen from flower to flower, they contribute to the genetic diversity of plants and promote their overall health and survival.


The Ivy Cellophane Bee is commonly found in regions where ivy plants (Hedera spp.) grow abundantly. They prefer wooded areas, gardens, and parks, where ivy provides both nesting sites and ample nectar and pollen sources.

Social Behavior

Unlike social bees such as the honeybee, Ivy Cellophane Bees are solitary in nature. Each female constructs her own underground nest, where she provisions individual cells with a mixture of pollen and nectar for her offspring.

Nesting Practices

Female Ivy Cellophane Bees excavate burrows in well-drained soil, creating cells that are separated by partitions. After laying an egg in each cell, the female seals it off with a waterproof cellophane-like substance to protect the developing larva.

Floral Specialization

While Ivy Cellophane Bees primarily forage on ivy flowers, they also visit a variety of other blooming plants for nectar and pollen. Their specialized preference for certain floral resources contributes to the pollination of specific plant species.

Natural Predators

Like many other bee species, Ivy Cellophane Bees face threats from predators such as birds, spiders, and other insects. Pesticides and habitat loss also pose significant risks to their populations.

Conservation Status

Due to increasing urbanization and land-use changes, the habitat of the Ivy Cellophane Bee is being compromised. Conservation efforts are essential to protect these bees and ensure their continued contribution to ecosystem health.

Human Impact

By promoting pollinator-friendly practices such as planting native flowers and avoiding pesticide use, individuals can support the well-being of Ivy Cellophane Bees and other wild pollinators. Public awareness and conservation initiatives are critical for their long-term survival.

Interesting Facts

– Female Ivy Cellophane Bees are excellent architects, creating intricate nests underground with careful partitioning.
– These bees are efficient foragers, visiting numerous flowers in search of nectar and pollen.
– The cellophane-like material used to seal their nesting cells inspired their common name.


For further reading and in-depth information on Ivy Cellophane Bees, check out the following scientific studies:
Study on the foraging behavior of Colletes hederae
Research on the nesting habits of solitary bees

Explore the remarkable world of the Colletes hederae species, and gain a newfound appreciation for these industrious and vital pollinators!

Ivy Cellophane Bee (Colletes hederae)

  • Name: Colletes hederae
  • Rank: species
  • Colletes hederae, the ivy bee, is a species of plasterer bee belonging to the family Colletidae subfamily Colletinae.

    ID: 433481

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    Parent ID: 127741