14 Different Types of Bees in Indiana

Different Types of Bees in Indiana
Photo by Boba Jaglicic

Indiana is home to many types of bees, and it is essential to know what kinds of bees live there.

This blog post will discuss 14 different types of bees in Indiana and where they can be found.

Whether you are looking for honeybees or bumblebees, there are plenty of places to spot them throughout the state. 

Wildflower meadows and nature parks are popular spots where you can observe Indiana’s various types of bees.

Moreover, farms and orchards offer unique opportunities to observe native species such as leafcutter bees, mason bees, and sweat bees.

Whether you’re an avid beekeeper or just curious about the types of bees in Indiana, this blog post has all the information you need.

1. Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees - Different Types of Bees

Carpenter bees are one of the types of bees in Indiana. They are members of the Xylocopa genus, consisting of giant, solitary bees.

These bees are easily recognizable due to their size and coloring; they are usually black with a metallic green or blue sheen.

Carpenter bees can be found throughout Indiana and often hover around woody areas, such as woodpiles, fence posts, and decks.

They feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and plants and play an essential role in pollination. Unlike other bee species, carpenter bees do not live in colonies. 

Instead, they live in tunnels that they excavate in soft or rotting wood. While these tunnels can cause considerable damage to wooden structures if left unchecked, they can also provide shelter for other insects and animals.

Carpenter bees can be a nuisance if they nest close to human habitation, as they can cause significant damage to wooden structures. 

However, they are generally not aggressive and do not sting unless provoked.

Therefore, it is best to leave them alone and let them pollinate plants and provide shelter for other insects.

2. Bumble Bee

Bumblebees - Animals With Stripes
by wwarby is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Bumble bees are one of the most common types of bees in Indiana. These robust bees are easily recognizable by their large, round body and bright yellow and black stripes.

Bumble bees can often fly around flowers or hover over gardens and crops, collecting nectar and pollen. 

They are also social insects and live in colonies with a queen bee surrounded by her worker bees.

Bumble bees play an essential role in pollinating many types of plants and crops in Indiana. These bees have furry coats and short wings, which make them look like small bears. 

Bumblebees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and produce honey. Unlike other types of bees, Bumblebees will only sting if they feel threatened.

To avoid a confrontation, it’s best to leave them alone! They are typically found nesting underground in hollow logs or abandoned animal dens.

They have much more aggressive behavior than other bees, so it’s best to be cautious when approaching a bumblebee nest. 

3. Honey Bee

Honey Bees

The Honey Bee is one of the most recognizable types of bees in Indiana and is a crucial pollinator of plants.

These bees are characterized by their yellow and black stripes and are often found in colonies in or near hives.

Unlike other types of bees in Indiana, honey bees are social creatures and live in large colonies with one queen bee. 

These bees’ social insects live in colonies containing thousands of individuals. They feed on nectar and pollen and play an essential role in pollinating flowering plants, which makes them a crucial part of the ecosystem.

Honey Bees are also great for producing honey, which can be used for food, medicine, and even cosmetics.

4. Orchard Bee

Orchard Bee
by naturalflow is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

Orchard Bee is one of the types of bees in Indiana that play an essential role in pollination.

They are known for their yellowish or light green colored thorax and distinct black and yellow stripes on their abdomen.

Orchard Bees are found throughout the state, typically seen buzzing around in flower gardens or orchards, where they collect nectar and pollen. 

During spring and summer, they can be spotted hovering over plants, collecting the nectar and pollen necessary for survival.

These bees make excellent pollinators, so it’s a good idea to encourage them to visit your garden by planting native wildflowers like milkweed, aster, clover, and sunflower.

5. Mason Bee

Mason Bees
by davidshort is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mason bees are one of the most common types of bees in Indiana.

They are often seen in gardens and around buildings, as they are attracted to the materials used to construct structures.

These bees are easily recognized due to their metallic green color. 

Mason bees do not live in hives or produce honey but are essential pollinators for many native plants.

They are also very active in early spring, which makes them especially valuable for gardeners.  

6. Leafcutting Bee

Leafcutting Bees
by USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Program is licensed under CC-CC0 1.0

Leafcutting Bees are one of the most common types of bees in Indiana. These bees can be found in gardens and fields, foraging for flowers and collecting nectar.

They get their name from their unique behavior of cutting precise circles in the edges of leaves to create a nest. 

These bees have black bodies with yellowish markings on their heads and thoraxes. Unlike other types of bees, leafcutter bees use leaves instead of wax to build their nests.

As its name suggests, this bee uses its scissor-like jaws to cut sections from leaves which it then takes back to its nest to make a home. 

Leafcutting Bees are solitary bees and use the leaves to make individual compartments where they can lay their eggs. Leafcutting Bees are beneficial pollinators and help keep Indiana’s crops thriving.

7. Sweat Bee

Different Types of Sweat Bees
Photo by Gary Yost on Unsplash

Sweat bees, also known as Halictidae, are bees in Indiana named after their habit of visiting human perspiration. Sweat Bees are among the most common types of bees in Indiana.

Sweat Bees get their name because they are attracted to human sweat, which contains salt and minerals they need for nourishment. 

Although Sweat Bees rarely sting, it’s best to avoid swatting at them if you find them around you.

Sweat bees range in size from 0.125 to 0.5 inches in length and are generally black or metallic green. They typically nest underground and can be found around flowers, yards, and gardens. 

Sweat bees can be seen hovering around the heads of humans and animals, gathering moisture from sweat.

They are non-aggressive and will usually fly away when disturbed. Sweat bees are essential pollinators, helping fertilize various plants in Indiana.  

8. Green Metallic Bee

Green Metallic Bee
by bob in swamp is licensed under CC BY 2.0

One of the most striking types of bees in Indiana is the Green Metallic Bee. This is a solitary bee, meaning it does not form colonies like other bees.

It is identified by its bright metallic green color and pointed abdomen. 

The Green Metallic Bee is found in urban and suburban habitats throughout the state, especially in areas with an abundance of flowering plants.

They are mainly active in the late spring and summer months. These bees can be seen feeding on nectar and pollen from various flowers.

They play an essential role in pollination and are vital to the health of our environment.

9. Digger Bee

Digger Bees
by davidshort is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Digger bees are among the most common types of bees in Indiana. They belong to the family Andrenidae, many of which are quite large and robust. These bees are solitary and do not form colonies. 

They tend to live in dry, sandy habitats like grasslands and fields. Digger bees can be recognized by their distinctive plump body, long legs, and long antennae.

The color of the abdomen varies from species to species but usually ranges from light brown to dark black. 

Some digger bees have white or yellow markings on their thorax. These bees build burrows in the ground, typically in sandy or loose soils.

Inside their holes, they store pollen and nectar that they use as food. Female digger bees lay their eggs in the burrow. 

After hatching, the larvae feed on the stored food until they become adults. Digger bees are essential pollinators and can help with crop production.

They often visit various flowering plants, including roses, sunflowers, and daisies.

10. Mining Bee

Mining Bees - Types of Bees in Kansas
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Mining bees are one of the types of bees in Indiana. These solitary bees are beneficial to gardens and can often be seen in large aggregations around sandy or gravely soils.

They get their name because they create tunnels underground to store their food. 

Mining bees do not have a stinger and are very unlikely to sting, making them excellent pollinators for Indiana gardens.

They are typically black or brown, with yellowish-brown markings on their faces. They feed on nectar and pollen from clover, dandelion, and goldenrod.

11. Long-Horned Bee

Long-Horned Bees - Types of Bees in Kansas
by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Long-horned bees are one of the types in Indiana and other parts of the Midwest United States.

These bees have long antennae, hence their name. They can range in size from a few millimeters to over an inch in length. 

Long-horned bees feed on nectar and pollen from flowers and other plants, and their larvae develop in plant stems.

They are essential pollinators of wildflowers, gardens, and crops. Long-horned bees are solitary bees, meaning that each female creates her own nest without help from other bees.

They often nest in hollow stems or drilled holes in wood, where they lay their eggs. Because they are not social, they do not produce honey or wax.

Long-horned bees benefit native ecosystems and human activities and should be appreciated as part of Indiana’s diverse types of bees.

12. Squash Bee

Squash Bees - Types of Bees in Kansas
by pecooper98362 is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Squash bees are one of the most common types of bees in Indiana. This species of bee is native to the area and feeds mainly on the nectar and pollen of squash, pumpkins, and other cucurbits.

They are typically seen during the day from April through September, and their body is black with bright yellow markings. 

Like other solitary bees, they nest in holes in the ground and can be found in gardens, fields, and along roadsides throughout Indiana.

These bees do not produce honey like honeybees, but they are still essential pollinators for plants in the state. 

As with many other types of bees in Indiana, conservation efforts for the Squash bee have been implemented due to decreasing populations. 

The best way for gardeners and farmers to help protect this species is by avoiding pesticides and planting flowers that provide a food source for these helpful pollinators.

13. Carder Bee

Wool Carder Bees
by Memotions is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Carder bees are one of the many types of bees in Indiana. They are known for their ability to use fibers from plants to build their nests and can be found throughout the Midwest.

Carder bees are a solitary species and prefer to live in patches of bare soil or abandoned rodent burrows. 

The female Carder bee builds her nest by collecting plant fibers from flowers, leaves, and stems and then combines these fibers with saliva to form a sturdy material.

This material is used to construct the walls of the nest and is then lined with wax. 

The Carder bee is one of the few species that does not produce honey. Instead, they gather pollen and nectar for their food supply.

14. Cuckoo Bee

Cuckoo Bees
by jeans_Photos is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Cuckoo Bees are among the many types of bees in Indiana. They are solitary bees that do not live in colonies and don’t produce honey or wax.

Cuckoo Bees are named for their habit of laying their eggs in the nests of other bees, much like a cuckoo bird. 

These bees are typically found in the eastern part of the state and can range in size from small to large.

They have long tongues which enable them to feed on various flower nectar and pollen. They are excellent pollinators and help to keep the environment healthy. 


Indiana is a great place to find a variety of bees, with 14 types commonly found in the state. All these species can be seen across the state, from carpenters to squash bees.

Indiana’s diverse habitats and agricultural areas provide an ideal environment for these different types of bees in Indiana to thrive. 

Bee gardens are also becoming increasingly popular among homeowners who want to attract native types of bees in Indiana as pollinators.

To further support the health of wild bee populations, people must avoid using pesticides and other chemicals near plants where they live or feed.

By preserving suitable habitats and practicing sustainable gardening techniques, we can ensure that future generations can enjoy the sight and sound of types of bees in Indiana!

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