Monday, July 4, 2011

Black Raspberry Bloom, 2011 Part 5

The morning of June 17 was sunny, and the Osmia aglaia finally came out of their emergence containers and started foraging, mating, and searching for nests. In previous posts I've discussed their foraging on black raspberries and other flowers in the sturm fields. As temperatures warmed, there was lots of activity in the shelter. It's impossible to capture a sense of that activity in a still shot, but perhaps you can get an idea from this photo showing bees checking out empty tunnels in the webcam shelter. Three were crawling around on the bottom board, and click on the image to see bees in tunnels on the upper board.
The bees spent quite a bit of time sunning on the ground around the shelter; I even saw some sunning amongst the blueberry plants.

Here's an O. aglaia couple mating on a black raspberry leaf. Usually mating takes place early in the life of the bees, so this is further evidence that the O. aglaia had probably not yet started nesting.

We added some additional Binderboard nests to the shelters before we left. Here's the webcam shelter on June 17 after adding the additional nests. Before we left we put the lids back on the emergence containers and moved them to the sides of the shelter.

We also added more Binderboard nests to the Marion Berry shelter before we left.

One last thing that I should mention. After taking one last ride around the farm to see if there was any O. aglaia activity yet at Jim Cane's shelters (none seen) we saw Don's beekeeper setting up more honey bee hives just east of our marion berry shelter. There were 10 hives with a total of 24 supers. This makes a total of 29 honey bee hives in Don's fields. That's a large number. It will be interesting to find out if they have impact on our O. aglaia reproduction this season.

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