Posted by: buzzybeegirl | April 30, 2009

Peek-a-Bee

Tomorrow morning I am driving up to the Biosphere2 to place 4 bee condos around the property as part of my permanent display. And there’s a bonus…one of the bee condos already has an occupant…

Leaf cutter bee inside bee condo

Leaf cutter bee inside bee condo

It’s all business with her. She leaves the nest for a few minutes gathering pollen. Comes back to nest, usually circling around me a few times, finding her nest and staying inside for a few minutes as she unloads the pollen and makes a pollen ball. Once she is done, she leaves again. When I’m not near the nest she is faster at finding her nest. She still circles, but not as many times. You see, some of these bees use landmarks to find their nest from a distance, then they use odor cues to correctly identify their individual nest. When I am near the nest, I throw her off. Me standing there would be like a grocery store suddenly popping up at the corner of your block. If it wasn’t there when you left for work and suddenly appeared when you returned, you would do a double take. Well, she does the same.

leaf cutter bee entering her nest

leaf cutter bee entering her nest

What nice, though, is that she isn’t bothered by my presence. Maybe a bit confused at first, but not bothered. It was nice just watching her leave and return.

Since she has taken up occupancy, I placed a small pebble over the entrance with some tape to hold it in place. I did this so that she stays inside and I don’t take the nest leaving her behind. I just hope I don’t confuse her too much when I remove the pebble and she is in a new place. Wish her luck in her new home.

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Responses

  1. I will keep my antenna crossed for her!

  2. […] family Megachilidae, which are known as the leafcutter or Mason bees. So they are related to the bees that I am currently boarding in my bee condo. The Osmia bees are widespread, found in Eurasia and The New World. There are 135 species of Osmia […]


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