Thursday, May 10, 2012

Oregon Berry Bees are in the field!

Blue orchard bee nests on the left, Oregon berry bee nests on the right

Berry bees will emerge from the cottage cheese containers
Rosie put the berry bee, Osmia aglaia, cocoons in the shelter today, along with three Binderboard nest blocks.   I haven't seen any berry bees flying around yet.  They need a few days to warm up before they start emerging.  In previous years we have found that they began to get active around the time that Himalayan blackberry starts to bloom.  In the last couple of years that hasn't happened until the black raspberry have been in bloom for several weeks.  But the last couple of seasons have been wetter, colder, cloudier and later than this season is proving to be.   With any luck, the berry bees will emerge and start to forage soon.

I can't see flower buds or bloom on the black raspberry near the webcam yet.  I'm not sure if the flowers will be visible.  I'll post photos of the state of the plants tomorrow. 

Although O. aglaia are not yet active, Osmia lignaria have been exploring the O. aglaia tunnels.  You can see one in the photo, below. 

Berry bee nest tunnels, orchard bee is exploring.
There have been several sunny days in Corbett, and I've been watching lots of orchard bee activity in front of the Binderboard nests.  Males are still active, but I've seen quite a few females as well.  However, it's not clear if they have been nesting.  So far, no tunnels have plugs.  That suggests that there isn't much pollen available near the nest yet. 

In case you missed the information about how to view our webcam:
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