Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Blue Orchard Bee Nests
The blue orchard bee collects nectar and pollen from flowers and deposits it inside a tube. Next, she lays an egg in the tube and seals it with mud. The bee continues depositing eggs, each furnished with nectar and pollen for food, in the tubes. A six-inch tube will hold five or six eggs, each separated by a seal of mud. Like the honey bee, the blue orchard bee determines the sex of the offspring by laying a fertilized egg to become a female or by laying an infertile egg to become a male. The blue orchard bee is solitary; each female lays her own eggs. There is no sharing of egg-laying responsibility as there is in the honey bee colony where a queen lays all eggs. The blue orchard bees lay their eggs in the spring, and the offspring emerge in the spring of the following year.