Why is that block so small?

Good question.  The block in the photo of the Longmont Osmia lignaria sighting posted below on May 24th is different from most the Bee Blocks in this study. For this pilot season, we made 250 standard Bee Blocks to pass out to Citizen Scientists.  That’s 10,000 bee nesting tunnels.  (I must extend a huge thank you Alex and our volunteers who drilled so many holes.)  In addition to these standard Bee Blocks, we also distributed 50 baby rearing blocks.  These blocks were made out of scrap or knotty lumber and lack the cute little roof board.  They have the same hole sizes, in the same pattern, but often fewer nesting tunnels (either 8, 16, 24, 32, or 40) per block.  We have a total of 1208 nesting tunnels in these 50 rearing blocks which were carefully distributed across the Front Range (and mostly went to museum folks).  The same data collection procedures are being followed, however they are numbered in such a way that we can easily eliminate them from analyses if we wish to look only at the standard blocks.  At the end of this nesting season these 50 rearing blocks will be returned to the Museum.  We will take a high resolution photo of each of the rearing block nest plugs and then next spring we will collect the emerging offspring.  Those offspring will be vouchered in the Entomology Collections of the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.  The purpose of collecting these specimens is so that we will be able to get accurate species level identifications on the nesting bees and wasps (which we often can’t do from photos) and on their parasites (which we cannot ever do from a host bee’s nest plug).   The 1208 tunnels in the rearing blocks pales in comparison to the 10,000 holes we distributed in the standard blocks and vouchering some specimens adds to the scientific rigor of this study.

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