Cuckoo Bee - Nomada imbricata
Family Apidae
/ Subfamily Nomadinae - Cuckoo Bees
Insects & Spiders | Bees & Wasps Index | Bees & Wasps Main | Stinging Hymenoptera
Live adult cuckoo Bees photographed in the wild at DuPage County, Illinois.
Nomada luteoloides
This May 10th cuckoo bee was busy drinking nectar - note lack of pollen basket or adherence.
Cuckoo Bees are parasitic. The cuckoo bee lays her eggs in the nest of other bees, primarily digger bees and Andrenids.  Cuckoos are also said to be kleptoparasites, stealing honey and pollen collected by others. Cuckoo bees lack any pollen-transporting apparatus. Look for cuckoo bees flying low over the ground and foliage, hunting for foraging and nesting potential victims.

"Kleptoparasitism is an important means by which many animals obtain limited resources. The success of kleptoparasitism may be influenced by a number of factors, including competitive differences among individuals and the spatial distribution of prey and hosts." --Read the Abstract: Ian M. Hamilton, Behavioral Ecology Vol. 13 No. 2: 260-267, © 2002 International Society for Behavioral Ecology:
Kleptoparasitism and the distribution of unequal competitors

"Anthophorid Bees (920 NA spp) are most diverse in the western U.S. Three distinctive subfamilies are recognized: Nomadinae (Cuckoo Bees), Anthophorinae (Digger Bees), and Xylocopinae (Carpenter Bees). " 

-- Michener, Charles D., The Bees of the World Publisher: The Johns Hopkins University Press ISBN/ISSN: 0-8018-6133-0
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Order Hymenoptera: Bees, Wasps, & Ants
belong to this large order, which also includes sawflies. Most species are solitary, but some, such as the domestic honeybee, exhibit a complex social structure in which exist sterile female workers and fertile male and female royalty.
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