This is a large family of long-tongued bees that includes various Miner bees, Carpenter bees, and parasitic bees. Miner bees build nests in the ground consisting of tunnels and brood chambers, while Carpenter bees chew holes in rotting wood or the pith of shrubs to construct their nests. Anthophorini (Miner Bees, Anthophorine Bees): These are rather large, fast-flying, hairy bees with very long tongues. This tribe includes the Anthophora spp. Ceratinini (Little Carpenter Bees): These small bees construct nests in the pith of shrubs, particularly Elderberry and Sumac. Includes the Ceratina spp. While few in species, they are common visitors of many prairie wildflowers. Emphorini (Miner Bees, Emphorine Bees): This small family includes Ptilothrix bombiformis and Melitoma taurea. The latter species is especially attracted to large bell-shaped flowers in the Mallow and Morning Glory families. Epeolini, Melectini, and Nomadini (Cuckoo Bees): The bees from these three tribes are brood parasites on other Miner bees in the Anthophoridae family. Some species of Nomadini also parasitize the nests of Andrenid bees. Nomadine bees are most active during the spring or early summer, while Epeoline bees are more active later in the year. Melectine bees are uncommon visitors of prairie wildflowers.
Eucerini (Miner Bees, Long-Horned Bees, Eucerine Bees): Sometimes called "Long-Horned Bees" because of the long antennae of the males. Species in this tribe construct nests in the ground and are important visitors of many prairie wildflowers. Includes Melissodes, Synhalonia, and Svastra spp. Some specialist pollinators of this tribe are Peponapis pruinosa pruinosa (Squash and Gourd Bee) and Cemolobus ipomoeae (Morning Glory Bee). Pasitidini (Miner Bees, Pasitidine Bees): This small tribe includes Holcopasites spp. The species Holcopasites heliopis is a specialist pollinator of Heliopsis helianthoides (False Sunflower). Xylocopini (Large Carpenter Bees): This includes Xylocopa virginica (Eastern Carpenter Bee). This large bee chews holes through rotting wood to construct its nests. It will sometimes rob nectar from a flower by chewing holes at the base near the nectaries. Larger flowers offering abundant pollen and nectar supplies are especially attractive to it.
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