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Colletidae (order Hymenoptera, suborder Apocrita) Cosmopolitan family of primitive bees, which is best represented in the Australian region. The tongue is short, broad, and emarginate apically, modified as a kind of paintbrush and used to apply the waterproof cell lining of macrocyclic lactones, which are secreted by the Dufour's gland. Females of the subfamilies Hylaeinae and Eurglossinae have no pollen scopa, and transport pollen in the crop. The principal ground-nesting genus, Colletes, is absent from Australia but is otherwise cosmopolitan. Most hylaeines nest in pithy stems or insect borings in wood.

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