(Anthidium manicatum)
Indiana, USA – July 2020

This solitary bee originated in Europe and was introduced to the United States in the middle of the last century. Since then, it has spread throughout North America and is considered an invasive species.

The male shown in the photos has its territory in a corner of our garden overgrown with lamb’s-ear (Stachys byzantina). In addition to nectar and pollen, this plant also provides wool, which is used by females to build brood cells.

The males show a distinct territorial behavior and patrol incessantly, repeatedly hovering. They can also be recognized by five hooked spines at the end of the abdomen.

These are used as weapons to defend the territory against intruders.