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There are 119 known species within the genus Melissodes, and most species are solitary ground nesters and will dig a burrow within the soil and line it with a wax-like substance that they secrete. This habit of digging their burrows earned them the common name of Digger Bees. A few species within the genus are communal and will nest in small community nests. Cuckoo wasps with the subspecies of Triepeolus use the offspring of these bees as the host for their own offspring. Being a solitary nester means you have no family to protect and therefore not prone to being defensive.....there is nothing to defend. This is unlike Honey bees or bumbles bees which guard honey stores, offspring and a queen.
Honey bee hives may contain upwards of 40,000 individuals, nearly all of them females that provide food for the adult hive members, as well as the offspring of the queen. They also care for the queen since her only job is to lay eggs. These little workers also guard the hive from invaders, clean the hive, air condition the hive, and communicate with the colony where food is available and how to find it. They have a very complex lifestyle and much to lose should the hive become threatened, so it stands to reason that they would be somewhat defensive near the hive. However, when they are out foraging for food they rarely sting unless provoked or accidentally stepped on or grabbed.
The little digger bees got the name longhorn from the long antennae the males possess which are much longer than most bees. For those who are familiar with these bees this is apparently a great way to identify them. This particular species also has two yellowish-white spots near the tip of the black abdomen. These two spots earned them the specie name of bimaculata, which means translates into *bi* (Two) *Macula* (Spot).
They also have long yellowish colored hairs on their hindlegs. Females are approximately a 1/2 inch in length, males are a bit smaller at 3/8 of an inch.
When evening nears and the sun is riding low on the horizon slowly walk along the plants and flowers in your yard, or a nearby field or meadow and you might spot these little bees tucking in for the night.