Habropoda / digger Bee
Habropoda depressa male. © Rollin Coville
Male Habropoda depressa on Ribes. © Celeste Ets-Hokin
Female Habropoda depressa. © Rollin Coville
Common Name: Digger Bee
Habropoda have typically fuzzy, grey or buff colored hairs on their thorax, and a darker or black colored abdomen; some species display black and grey banding.
Female carries pollen in a brush of specialized hairs on her hind legs.
Habropoda are very fast flyers, able to hover before landing on a flower.
They typically have very long tongues allowing them to obtain nectar from and pollinate deep tubular flowers.
Females are able to “buzz pollinate” certain flowers, including blueberry, to release their pollen – in fact, in the east, Habropoda laboriosa, is known as the Southeastern blueberry bee.
Size: Medium sized, robust bee, 1/2 to 3/4 inch in length.
Habropoda species are found across the United States, with the greatest diversity occurring along the west coast from Canada to Mexico. Only one species, Habropoda laboriosa (Southeast blueberry bee) has a significant presence east of Texas.
Number of species in North America
Early spring to summer, depending on species
Ground nesting bee, often known to nest closely together. Some species are reported to prefer sandy soil.
Pollinated Garden Crops Include