Skip to main content

Help researchers identify a parasitic bee in Minnesota!


Have you seen this bee?

Triepeolus remigatus bee. Photo: Stephania Sandoval

My name is Stephania Sandoval and I am a PhD student at Penn State University. I am currently looking for individuals of this parasitic bee species in Minnesota, and I would greatly appreciate your help in finding this species in Minnesota.

This is a species of cuckoo or parasitic bee called Triepeolus remigatus. Parasitic bees are bees that do not construct nests or collect pollen, but instead steal the food collected by other species. The female parasites enter the nests of other bees, locate the cells where the pollinator bee keeps the food provisions and lay their eggs on those provisions. 

You might have heard of cuckoo birds, well this is very similar. I am interested in studying this very cool behavior and this is why I am looking for individuals of this bee. This species in particular likes to parasitize the nests of squash bees (maybe put a picture of a squash bee too?). If you commonly plant squashes, pumpkins or gourds in the summer, you might have seen the squash bees pollinating your plants and nesting around the crops. If you pay attention, you might be able to see the parasitic bees flying around the squash bee nests or even in the squash flowers. 

Please contact me if you see these bees around. Let me know if you are willing to let me collect some of these individuals on your property, and I will coordinate with a UMN Extension Educator. Contact info:, phone: 814-441-6102 (text is better than call). Thank you!

For more information on squash bees and their parasites please visit:

Print Friendly and PDF