Macropis fulvipes

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Macropis fulvipes
Class : Insects (Insecta)
Order : Hymenoptera (Hymenoptera)
Superfamily : Apoidea
Family : Melittidae
Genre : Macropis
Type : Macropis fulvipes
Scientific name
Macropis fulvipes
( Fabricius , 1804)

Macropis fulvipes is a bee from the family of Melittidae .


The bees have a body length of 8 to 9 millimeters (females) or 8 millimeters (males). The females are black. They are loosely yellow-brown on the head and thorax , and blackish hairy on the mesonotum . The splint brush (Scopa) is white. The heel phalanges (metatarsi) of the hind legs are hairy reddish brown on the inside and often also on the outside. The splints ( tibia ) and the heel members of the middle legs also have such hairiness . The first and second tergites are almost hairless and shiny. The third and fourth tergite have whitish hair ties at the end, the first of which is narrowly interrupted in the middle. The males are hairy yellow-gray. Her face is marked in yellow. On the third to fifth tergite there are whitish hair ties, the first of which is interrupted in the middle. The thighs ( femora ) and rails of the hind legs are thickened, therefore also called thigh bees, the rails are elongated to a point on the outer spur.

Occurrence and way of life

The species is widespread in Europe, north to south of Finland, but is absent in England. It inhabits forest areas, but also gardens. The special thing about this species and the whole genus is that these bees collect fatty oil from the flowers of the loosestrife ( Lysimachia ). Pollen is also collected exclusively from the oil-producing yellow loosestrife, and the bees fly to nectar plants for self-sufficiency. The oil is used, on the one hand, to line brood cells that are created in the earth with the oil and to protect them against moisture and dehydration, and on the other hand, the oil is used to make larval bread mixed with the pollen. The animals fly from mid-June to late August. Cuckoo bee of the species is Epeoloides coecutiens .

supporting documents

  • Felix Amiet, M. Herrmann, A. Müller, R. Neumeyer: Fauna Helvetica 20: Apidae 5 . Center Suisse de Cartographie de la Faune, 2007, ISBN 978-2-88414-032-4 .
  • S. Vogel: Oil flowers and oil-collecting bees, Second episode: Lysimachia and Macropis , Academy of Science and Literature, Franz Steiner Verlag Wiesbaden GmbH, 1986.
  • Charles Duncan Michener : The bees of the world. ISBN 0-8018-8573-6 .
  • I. Schäffler, S. Dötterl: A day in the life of an oil bee: phenology, nesting, and foraging behavior. Apidology, 2011.