Sunday, April 22, 2012

Webcam is online! Orchard Bees are emerging!

Bee shelter in Sturm field, April 22, 2012
The Oregon Berry Bee WebCam (on the Sturm Berry Farm in Corbett, OR) has been live for a couple of weeks, but with some wet and cool weather nothing has been in bloom.  Now the weather is warming, and it’s looking like the blueberry will bloom soon.  Rosie Sturm put out two emergence containers of the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria in the shelter at the webcam site this morning.  The bees should be emerging over the next week or so, and hopefully will find enough to forage from and start nests. 

We are particularly interested to know if they help with blueberry pollination, and if they are still around when the black raspberry comes into bloom.  Have a look at the webcam and let us know what you see.

The camera image is on between 7:30am and 7pm Pacific time.  It is shut off at night to conserve battery charge, which relies on a solar panel.

If you would like to know how to connect to the webcam, contact me and I'll e-mail you the connection information. 

Black raspberry preset on April 22, 2012
Once you log on, there are preset camera views (nests, raspberries, blueberries) that you can go to from a menu at the top of the image.  You can also zoom, pan and tilt the camera with the controls under the image.  Be patient, the controls are slow because they are being transmitted over a cell phone line.  Click once, and wait for a few seconds to see the movement.  If the camera gets too many commands at once it stops reacting.

Wide view of black raspberry on April 22, 2012
There is also a large dial thermometer in the bee shelter.  You can zoom in to see what the temperature is.  

 Osmia aglaia, the Oregon Berry Bee, emerges later in the season than O. lignaria, so Rosie is holding on to the cocoons and nests until the black raspberry starts to bloom.  Watch for a post when the O. aglaia are released.

All of the photos posted here are preset views from the webcam.

East view of blueberry field on April 22, 2012

Please share the website and guest login information with anyone who you think might be interested in watching the bees and the flowering phenology along with us.

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