This is a bee species that was introduced from Japan to help with orchard pollination. Since its introduction, its population has been spreading across the US and is doing extremely well here. It is by far the most abundant mason bee you will see in early spring. It is unknown whether it competes with native Osmia species, though those do seem to be in decline (it can be hard to tell for sure whether a wild bee is in decline, but museum evidence seems to suggest it).
What we do know is that the orchard bee, Osmia cornifrons is very happy and successful in the US, no matter its origins. And although it is not terribly abundant in apple orchards, it probably does some good work there. In light of the xenophobia in politics of late, I think we can give this cute non-native bee a pass.
They are nesting in my office building, but most of the nests are too high for me to reach. Fortunately, a couple were down lower so I could photograph them. I think all of the bees in these photos are males. (They emerge first and wait to mate with females.)
Nests in the mortar of my office building
Males sunning themselves on the walls
He’s checkin out this depression to see if there are any females hiding in there
Entering the nest
Mad at me for photographing him
Catching some rays