This article includes a
|Male European wool carder bee, |
Megachilidae is a
The lifecycle of nonparasitic Megachilidae is typically that nests are built, divided into cells. Each cell receives a supply of food (pollen or a pollen/nectar mix) and an egg; after finding a suitable spot (often near where she emerged), a female starts building a first cell, stocks it, and oviposits. She builds a wall that separates the completed cell from the next one. The larva hatches from the egg and consumes the food supply. After moulting a few times, it spins a cocoon and pupates. It emerges from the nest as an adult. Males die shortly after mating, but females survive for another few weeks, during which they build new nests.
Nests are often built in natural or artificial cavities. Some embed individual cells in a mass of clay or resin attached to a wall, rock surface, or plant stem. Nest cavities are often linear, for example in hollow plant stems, but not always (snail shells are used by some Osmia, and some species readily use irregular cavities).
Some genera of megachilids are