Melissodes / long-horned Bee
Common Name: Long-Horned Bee
Both males and females are golden-brown, often with some banding on the abdomen. They have a fuzzy thorax and noticeably hairy legs.
The female carries pollen in a brush of specialized hairs, called a scopa, on each hind leg. When loaded with pollen, the female scopae can resemble leg-warmers, which is sometimes a quick way to spot a female long-horned bee.
Males are slightly smaller than females and have particularly long antennae.
By evening male long-horned bees can often be found sleeping in clusters inside a flower or hanging onto a flower stem with their jaws.
Melissodes are important pollinators of North American wild sunflowers and also of hybrid sunflower crops.
Size: Small to medium sized robust bees, approximately 1/3 to 3/4 inch in length.
Melissodes species are restricted to the Americas. They are widespread and abundant across North America.
Number of species in North America
More than 120
Mid to late summer
Pollinated Garden Crops Include
Additional Flowers Visited in Natural Areas
Parkinsonia (paloverde, Jerusalem thorn)
Psorothamnus (dalea, smoketree)