Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Rainy Days in Corbett

Yesterday and today are rainy days in Corbett, with temperatures in the 50s to 60oF, so I haven't seen much bee activity other than a few O. lignaria females poking their heads out of their tunnels.  But since my last post, more tunnels have been plugged.  The photo shows the conditions of the Binderboard yesterday around noon.  On the left, the top Binderboard has about 73 filled tunnels out of 98, and on the bottom about 59 filled tunnels.  That's 13 - 16 new filled tunnels since my last post.  There are also new plugged tunnels in the O. aglaia Binderboard on the right.  The mud plugs belong to O. lignaria.
This is one of the ways that the webcam is proving very useful.  I called Rosie yesterday and suggested that she put another O. lignaria Binderboard in the shelter.   She should also remove the O. lignaria emergence containers from the shelter, since emergence for this bee seems to be over.  Rosie is headed out of town, but expects to take care of it later this week.  Without the webcam I would not be able to offer her that advice because I wold have no idea what is happening in the shelter.  

I haven't seen any O. aglaia activity since the day when their emergence containers were put in the shelter.  It's probably too cold.  Plus, the black raspberries seem to be just starting to bloom, and they are the earliest, or among the earliest, raspberries to bloom.  I'm pretty sure that the small white balls sticking up from the branch on the right and at the bottom are black raspberry blossoms.  This is as close as the camera gets to the raspberry bloom, so I'm not sure that I'll be able to see many bee visits.

I've been making 5 minute observations of this blueberry plant periodically to get counts of bee visitors.  Unfortunately, no bees have visited the blueberry flowers during my counts.  But here is a photo of a foraging bumblebee queen near the top of the branch on the right.  She visited on Sunday when I wasn't doing counts.   She is only the second bee that I have seen foraging on the blueberries.  

Rosie mentioned that there are honeybees in the fields now.  Maybe I'll start seeing them on the flowers when the weather warms up.

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