Bees are generally easy to identify to genus level using a simple wing venation based key (such as the FSC Aidgap Key to Bees, Ants and Wasps) if you have a specimen. They are not so easy to identify from photos or to species level.
If you can provide several good quality photos the experts on the HymIS and BWARS forums may be able to identify your Megachilidae, but many are difficult from photos.
Mason and Orchard Bees Osmia spp:
For information about some common Osmia species, see a post on Days on the Claise, with photographs of European Orchard Bee O. cornuta and Red Mason Bee O. rufa. For further information, with good photos and some great observations, see Bees in a French Garden.
European Orchard Bee Osmia cornuta
See post on Days on the Claise for further information, including photographs of male. Below, a female investigates the possibilities of drainage hole in our back door as a potential nest hole, April.
Mason, Potter or Wool Carder Bees Anthidium spp:
here, on Aigronne Valley Wildlife. Other species line the nest with pine resin. Unusually for a bee species, male Anthidiums are bigger than the females. Bees in a French Garden has a good entry on Anthidiums if you want further information.
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