19 Different Types of Bees in Ohio

Types of Bees in Ohio
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When you think about bees, do you think about honey? Or maybe the little buzzing insects that fly around flowers with a giant tongue collecting nectar? Well, then, you’re only half right.

There are many different types of bees in Ohio (honey bees, bumblebees, cuckoo bumblebees), and they pollinate different things. 

For example, a honey bee collects nectar from flowers to make honey which is used for sweets or as a natural sweetener.

A bumblebee has a big tongue for collecting pollen that plants need to reproduce, which is why they are often seen on blooming flowers.

However, there are  20,000 different types of bees in the world, and the United States alone has around 450 different species of them. 

Honey bees are very important in pollinating most flowering plants and crops. However, other types of bees also play important roles in many countries’ ecosystems and food production.

This article will take us through the different types of bees in Ohio.

1. Honey Bee

There are many types of bees in Ohio, but the honey bee (Apis mellifera) is a very important pollinator for our state.

Honey bees are not native to North America but were imported from Europe by early settlers.

Some say that the honey bee was brought here to produce honey for settlers with little access to sugar cane back in Europe. 

Nowadays, honey bees play an important role in crop pollination and have been used extensively by commercial beekeepers. They are used to pollinate crops like almonds, apples, oranges, and blueberries.

The European honey bee population has been declining due to colony collapse disorder (CCD), which can kill off large numbers of colonies at once.

2. Leaf Cutting Bee

Leaf-cutting bees are an example of solitary bees. Most importantly. They are the second on our list of types of bees in Ohio.

These bees have various nesting habits, but the most common is to make a nest out of plant material. 

Furthermore, leaf-cutting bees will use their mandibles to cut pieces from leaves or petals to make circular cells for larvae.

When the larvae reach adulthood, they chew holes in the leaves where they emerged from and fly off on their own.

3. Bumble Bee

Bumble bees are third on our list of the different types of bees in Ohio (Bombus spp.). These are very important to the pollination process. As a result, they are found almost everywhere across North America. 

According to the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension, there are over 250 species in North America.

These bees typically nest underground or in cavities above ground. However, they will also nest inside abandoned animal burrows or other man-made structures as well. 

Bumble bees have longer abdomens than other types of bees, making them appear rounder and fatter compared to other types of bees.

This is because they do not collect pollen on their legs as honeybees do. Instead, they use their hairless hind legs to gather pollen from flowers before transferring it back to their storage organs on the abdomen.

4. Sweat Bee

A sweat bee is one of the types of bees in Ohio. Sweat bees are small, ranging from 3.5 to 11mm, with a metallic green or blue body and black or dark brown wings.

The sweat bees most commonly seen are Halictidae spp., Lasioglossum sp., Augochlora sp., Agapostemon sp., Megachile sp. (leafcutter), Nomada spp.

5. Large Carpenter Bee

The Large Carpenter bee (Xylocopa spp.), also known as a carpenter bee, is the largest native species of bee in the United States.

This species prefers open areas where it can forage, such as pastureland, orchards, gardens, meadows, or other open spaces with diverse flowering plants.

The carpenter bee does not burrow into the wood like some other types of bees in Ohio. 

Going further, a female carpenter bee collects pollen from plants using her hairy body to gather pollen grains.

She then deposits them on her abdomen to create a pollen ball that she will take back to her nest and use to feed larvae.

6. Mason Bee

Of the types of bees in Ohio, mason bees are solitary bees that live alone. The female builds a nest by chewing wood fiber into a small ball, then gathers pollen from flowers to store inside the nest. 

When she has finished packing the pollen away, she lays an egg on top of it. Mason bees are also called orchard masons because they pollinate fruit trees.

7. Squash Bee

Ohio is home to various types of bees, each with its own way of pollinating plants. The squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) is a solitary bee that uses a nesting tube that it digs up from the ground.

It’s 11-14mm in size with brown stripes on its abdomen, which can help you tell it apart from other types of bees in Ohio. 

Moving on, the adult squash bee feeds exclusively on nectar and pollen from squash, pumpkin, cucumber, melon, and other plants belonging to the Cucurbitaceae family.

Like all solitary bees, these little pollinators don’t live in colonies or produce honey like social bees.

8. Small Carpenter Bee

Ohio has many types of bees, each with its unique pollinating abilities. Some bees only pollinate one type of flower, while others can pollinate a variety.

However, one of the types of bees in Ohio is the Carpenter bee. Carpenter bees drill holes into wood surfaces such as fences or siding to make a nest for their larvae.

These insects will sometimes also chew on soft fruits like strawberries, peaches, or apples if there is no available wood surface nearby.

9. Mining Bee

Mining bees are solitary ground-nesting bees that dig burrows up to 3 feet deep.

Unlike most other types of bees in Ohio, mining bees do not form hives but lay their eggs on a mass of pollen near the entrance to the burrow. 

Meanwhile, a single female may use dozens of burrows over her lifetime.

Mining bees are important pollinators for crops such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, apples, plums, and blackberries.

10. Orange-Legged Furrow Bee

An orange-legged furrow bee is a solitary bee that makes its nest in the ground. This type of bee is relatively uncommon, with populations declining due to habitat loss.

These types of bees in Ohio are usually found close to human habitation, where they can find food sources like gardens. 

Further, orange-legged furrow bees do not pollinate crops but may be beneficial. This is because they pollinate some plants that other types of bees do not visit or pollinate as effectively.

Some of these plants are mint and goldenrod.

11. Oblong Woolcarder Bee

An Oblong Woolcarder Bee, like other types of bees in Ohio, pollinates flowers. They are categorized as solitary bees because they do not live in colonies. 

Female Oblong Woolcarders collect pollen from the male Oblong Woolcarders and use it to construct a nest where they lay eggs.

The female then collects nectar from nearby flowers to feed the larvae when they hatch.

12. Black-And-Gold Bumble Bee

Black-and-Gold Bumble Bee is one of Ohio’s most common types of bees. They are important pollinators for crops like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, and kale. 

In addition to crops, Black-and-Gold Bumble Bees also pollinate flowers such as Queen Anne’s Lace and wildflowers like Purple Coneflower.

You can find them all over Ohio throughout the spring into early summer.

13. Half-Black Bumble Bee

One type of bee that is native to Ohio is the Half-Black Bumble Bee. This bee is called the Half-Black bumblebee because its hair isn’t completely black, unlike other bumblebees.

Instead, they have a black head with white hair around the neck area. 

The Half-Black Bumble Bee has a shorter tongue than other bumblebees, meaning they can only get nectar from shallow flowers.

One way you may find them on a day trip to see wildflowers is if you look on the ground for these types of bees feeding from Purple Violets or White Dutch Clover flowers.

All in all, they are included in our list of the various types of bees in Ohio! 

14. Unequal Cellophane Bee

One of the types of bees in Ohio is the unequal cellophane bee. This pollinates blueberries, blackberries, cherries, strawberries, apples, peaches, and plums.

The unequal cellophane bees come from around the world to pollinate these fruits. 

15. Lemon Cuckoo-Bumble Bee

Many people are unfamiliar with the Lemon Cuckoo-Bumble Bee. However, it is one of the native types of bees in Ohio that can be found all over the state.

The Lemon Cuckoo-Bumble Bee is usually seen during springtime as they pollinate flowering plants like blackberry bushes and honeysuckle. 

With that said, this bee looks similar to a honey bee except that it has yellow stripes on its abdomen.

Unlike honeybees, the lemon cuckoo-bumble bee does not make its own honey or produce wax for its hives.

Instead, they eat nectar from flowers and store it in pouches near their stomachs to feed on later.

16. European Woolcarder Bee

This bee is black with brown stripes, a gray head, and a grayish-brown thorax. It may be mistaken for the bumblebee, but it can be distinguished by the lack of hair on its abdomen.

It is found around flowers such as dandelions, goldenrod, and clover. 

What’s more? Its range includes most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains.

The European wool carder bee pollinates wildflowers, shrubs, and agricultural crops such as apples, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, and some garden plants.

Overall, it is not excluded from this list of the numerous types of bees in Ohio.

17. Bicolored Striped Sweat Bee

Bees are crucial for pollinating flowers, crops, and trees. As a result, bees are important for the food industry.

There are many types of bees in Ohio that pollinate different things. One type of bee is the bicolored striped sweat bee. 

This type of bee is one inch long with a black body and white stripes on its abdomen. They feed mostly on plants like apples, citrus fruits, pears, plums, figs, grapes, tomatoes, and other fruit or vegetable plants.

Bicolored striped sweat bees can also be found feeding on clover flowers and other types of flowers that produce sweet nectar, such as dandelions, cosmos flowers, and more!

These little guys might look small, but they have big jobs to do!

18. Ligated Furrow Bee

The Ligated Furrow bee (Megachile ligniperda) is a solitary bee that only pollinates plants that bloom between April and October.

This bee has a metallic green or blue color with brown banding on the abdomen.

Like some types of bees in Ohio, they can be found in open areas, gardens, lawns, or abandoned fields. 

With a close-up look at its thorax, you’ll notice three to four stripes running across its surface. The females have short antennae, while the males have long ones that are very narrow at the end.

Males can also be identified by their furry faces with two large mandibles, which they use to chew pollen from flowers.

19. Golden Northern Bumble Bee

To end our list of the different types of bees in Ohio, Bumble bees or Bombus spp. Large, hairy bees produce a buzzing sound when they fly.

In addition to that, these bees live a solitary lifestyle, meaning they do not form colonies with other bumblebees.


Ohio’s diverse ecosystem includes species of native bees, all of which play an important role in pollinating Ohio’s native plants and crops.

The flowers as well attract wildlife, such as butterflies and hummingbirds. There are many different types of bees in Ohio, as explained in the article above.

Did you know? Honey bees are not native to Ohio—if you see a honey bee, it probably came from Kentucky or West Virginia on its way to pollinate your neighbor’s citrus trees!

The above guides the many types of bees in Ohio and what they pollinate!

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