Blue mason bee ♀︎
-Common mallow-

Last update: 9 June 2021
OBSERVATION:
2021-V-31

One running mission of mine is to get the Blue mason bee (Osmia caerulescens) [1] to nest in the bee hotels. So far that has not happened yet, but this female was clearly busy building one.

Blue mason bee ♀︎ (Osmia caerulescens) on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris), collecting leaf material for nest building

She is gnawing a piece of Common mallow (Malva sylvestris) leaf, starting from the edge inwards, and it looks this isn’t the first time she has been on this leaf. She does not cut a well defined piece of leaf like leafcutter bees do but instead is sort of scraping the leaf material into a ball. The material is cut into a paste and used to make the bulkheads between the brood cells [2,3].

Blue mason bee ♀︎ (Osmia caerulescens) on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris), collecting leaf material for nest building
Blue mason bee ♀︎ (Osmia caerulescens) on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris), collecting leaf material for nest building
Blue mason bee ♀︎ (Osmia caerulescens) on Common mallow (Malva sylvestris), collecting leaf material for nest building

I’m keeping an eye on the hotels. Every now and then a female will be sitting in an opening but they seem to be resting a bit, not nesting.


References

1 Nederlands Soortenregister

2 Breugel, P. van 2014. Gasten van bijenhotels. – EIS Kenniscentrum Insecten en andere ongewervelden & Naturalis Biodiversity Center, Leiden.

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