Heriades truncorum: about the Large-headed resin bee

I’d like to thank Liz Fenn for the use of this photograph of Heriades truncorum – the Large-headed resin bee, which is a member of the family of Megachilidae bees.

I believe this is a male.

Heriades truncorum – the Large-headed resin bee - photograph by Liz Fenn

As you can see, it's a very small, sweet little bee - about 5 - 5.5mm, and is one of those bees which could easily be mistaken for a little black fly!

Flight season: from June to September.

You may find them resting in cavities in dead wood or occupying bee hotels where they may nest.

They also build their nests in pre-existing cavities, or hollow stems such as brambles. 

This bee creates the petitions of its egg cell walls using resin, and according to Steven Falk's Field Guide to Bees of Great Britain and Ireland, the resin is usually gathered from pine trees.


These bees may be found in a range of habitats, including gardens, woodland, brownfield sites and especially where Common Ragwort flourishes.

Common Ragwort (also featuring the caterpillar of the Cinnabar moth (photgraph: Wikipedia)

Other flowers visited including Ragwort, Cat’s ear, Common Fleabane, Tansy and garden plants such as Heleniums.