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   xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday May 12 12:05 AM

May 12, 2010: Osmia Avoseta Bee

There are over 20,000 different species of bees, and most of us are only familiar with a few of them. Most of us aren't aware that not all bees live in hives/nests, either. This bee, Osmia Avoseta, was recently discovered, oddly enough, by two teams on the same day, one in Turkey and one in Iran.
No, Osmia, not Osama.

Osmia Avoseta is a solitary bee that builds a tiny nest for each and every egg it lays... and what a nest it is.

To begin construction, she bites the petals off of flowers and flies each petal — one by one — back to the nest, a peanut-sized burrow in the ground. She then shapes the multi-colored petals into a cocoon-like structure, laying one petal on top of the other and occasionally using some nectar as glue. When the outer petal casing is complete, she reinforces the inside with a paper-thin layer of mud, and then another layer of petals, so both the outside and inside are wallpapered — a potpourri of purple, pink and yellow.
These meticulous shells are just over a half-inch long and usually will house just one tiny egg. To prepare for her offspring, the mother collects pollen and nectar, which she carries back to the burrow in a nifty part of the digestive tract called the crop. She deposits this gooey blob of nutritional goodness in the bottom of the flower-petal nest. Then, she lays the egg, right on top of the gelatinous blob. At this point, it's time to seal in the egg. The mother bee neatly folds in the inner layer of petals, smears a paper-thin mud layer and then folds the outer petals. The casing is nearly airtight, which helps protect the vulnerable egg (and later larva, then pupa) from flooding or excessive dryness or hoofed animals.
I wonder when she has time to store food for the winter, and get her hair done?


rditlkustoleit  Wednesday May 12 12:34 AM

Reason #1,427

Why it's way easier to be a dude.

lupin..the..3rd  Wednesday May 12 01:33 AM

How do flower petals protect against hoofed animals? And what about non-hoofed animals? Do they protect against those too? Hmm, I wonder what the ratio of hoofed to non-hoofed animals is.

darkwing duck  Wednesday May 12 10:49 AM

What about the chocolate coating?

Gravdigr  Wednesday May 12 04:41 PM

How many does it take to make soup?

squirell nutkin  Wednesday May 12 05:11 PM

When I was building an addition for my neighbor we tore off the roof and dormers. There were dozens of mud wasps nests, yellow jacket nests, and about five of these little cocoons made of flower petals. It was surprising that they hadn't faded much. I kept them for a while intending to photograph them, but I think they got trashed during my own renovation.

I wonder if they were the same bee? Coincidentally, they were near an empty pack of Turkish Cigs from the 20's

Cloud  Wednesday May 12 05:35 PM

I didn't even know there were "solitary" bees. Pretty interesting.

Trilby  Wednesday May 12 07:00 PM

Wow - amazing!

but I can't help thinking how, in her elaborate preparations, Mother Bee resembles some Mother Humans.

monster  Wednesday May 12 09:29 PM

Well I'll bee......

Shawnee123  Wednesday May 12 09:34 PM

Aunt Bee?

monster  Thursday May 13 12:11 AM

Queen Bea

classicman  Thursday May 13 09:39 AM

Bea Arthur

Gravdigr  Thursday May 13 01:41 PM

Bea(trix) Potter

Shawnee123  Thursday May 13 01:49 PM

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