Hanging out with orchard bees: Osmia cornifrons

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).

Osmia cornifrons

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.)

Osmia cornifrons
Nests in the mortar of my office building
Osmia cornifrons
Males sunning themselves on the walls
Osmia cornifrons
He’s checkin out this depression to see if there are any females hiding in there
Osmia cornifrons
Bee butt!
Osmia cornifrons
Entering the nest
Osmia cornifrons
Mad at me for photographing him
Osmia cornifrons
Catching some rays
Osmia cornifrons
Handsome

Osmia cornifrons
Osmia cornifrons
Osmia cornifrons
Safe in the nest
Osmia cornifrons

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Hanging out with orchard bees: Osmia cornifrons

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: