University of Georgia entomologists are seeking citizen help to document the presence of the sculptured resin bee — also known as the giant resin bee — an invasive bee that could threaten the native carpenter bee population.
The sculptured resin bee is native to Japan and China and was first found in the U.S. in North Carolina in 1994. While they are not aggressive to people, these bees have the potential to create problems for native carpenter bees by taking over their nests, where they then lay their own eggs. Sculptured resin bees take advantage of the cavities created in wood by carpenter bees because they do not have the mandible strength to bore into the wood on their own.
Dan Suiter, a professor in the Department of Entomology on the UGA Griffin campus, added that although he doesn't see resin bees frequently, they are known to be a good pollinator of some plant species.
“We don’t see this bee very often,” said Suiter, noting that he is occasionally sent a sample of a resin bee to identify. “But we know that it’s invasive and uses kudzu as a food source.”