European Wool Carder Bee, Wool Carder Bee Anthidium manicatum (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)
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Gallagher, Samantha, and Andrea Lucky. 2020. “European Wool Carder Bee, Wool Carder Bee Anthidium Manicatum (Insecta: Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)”. EDIS 2020 (2).


The European wool carder bee Anthidium manicatum (Linnaeus) is a solitary, cavity-nesting bee species in the family Megachilidae (tribe Anthidiini), a family whose members include the mason and leaf cutter bees. Wool carder bees are so named because the female bee scrapes and collects the soft downy hairs (trichomes) of fuzzy plants to use in building a nest for her young. Some consider male wool carder bees very charismatic and enjoy watching them chase after other bees that invade their territory, while others would call them bullies based on male bees’ aggressive tendencies toward other bees when defending floral resources.

This species has been called the most widely distributed unmanaged bee in the world (Strange et al. 2011) because of its expansive native and non-native range.

This document describes its synonymy, distribution, description, life cycle and biology, hosts, economic importance, and includes selected references.
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Gibbs J, Sheffield CS. 2009. "Rapid range expansion of the wool-carder Bee, Anthidium manicatum (Linnaeus) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), in North America." Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society 82(1): 21–29.

Gonzales VH, Griswold TL. 2012. "Wool carder bees of the genus Anthidium in the Western Hemisphere (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): diversity, host plant associations, phylogeny, and biogeography." Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 168: 221–425.

Hicks B. 2011. "Anthidium manicatum (L.) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) found on the island of Newfoundland, Canada." Journal of the Acadian Entomological Society 7:105–107.

Payne A, Schildroth D, Starks P. 2011. "Nest site selection in the European wool-carder bee, Anthidium manicatum, with methods for an emerging model species." Apidologie 42(2):181–191.

Pechuman LL. 1967. "Observations of the behavior of the bee Anthidium Manicatum (L.)." Journal of the New York Entomological Society 75(2): 68-73.

Severinghaus LL, Kurtak BH, Eickwort GC. 1981. "The reproductive behavior of Anthidium manicatum (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and the significance of size for territorial males." Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 9: 51–58.

Strange JP, Koch JB, Gonzalez VH, Nemelka L, Griswold T. 2011. "Global invasion by Anthidium manicatum (Linnaeus) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae): assessing potential distribution in North America and beyond." Biological Invasions 13: 2115–2133.

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