Bees are nesting

I have a bee in my block!  Right in the heart of Longmont in a Bee Block that is sitting on my front porch, an Osmia lignaria has set up shop in a ¼” hole (A3).  This hole is somewhat small for O. lignaria, but she apparently liked it enough to settle in.  Because the diameter is too small for her to turn around in the nesting tunnel, after regurgitating some nectar onto her provisions, she must back out, turn around, and back into the nest to deposit her pollen load.  This makes for a good photo opportunity, and on Sunday (May 19th) I was able to snap a couple shots of her.  She’s really fast!!  Blink, and she’s gone.  Her pollen runs (to willows, cherries, apples, Mahonia, and the like) were lasting about 20 minutes.  Considering she makes 15 to 20 pollen runs per bee offspring, it would take her 5-7 hours to provision her cell.  I had hoped to be able to photograph her collecting mud to cap the cell, but that will have to wait for another day.  Several of the citizen scientists have also reported nest plugs made of mud.  It’s a late season, but there will be lots more to come.  Keep monitoring!

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