119/150: Blue Bee or not Blue Bee… The unsung heroes of orchard pollination


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Megachilidae: Osmia: Osmia lignaria Say 1837

When you think of important pollinators, you picture honeybees and bumblebees, but have you heard of blue bees? The Blue Orchard Bee or Mason Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria) is a species in the family Megachilidae, a group of solitary bees with long hairs on the underside of their abdomens used to carry pollen (scopa). Continue reading “119/150: Blue Bee or not Blue Bee… The unsung heroes of orchard pollination”

65/150: The Buzz surrounding the Yellow-banded Bumble bee


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Insecta: Hymenoptera: Apidae: Apinae:  Bombus: Bombus terricola (Kirby 1837)

The yellow-banded bumble bee is one of nearly 20,000 different species of bees found throughout the world. Yellow-banded bumble bees use a technique called “buzz pollination,” this involves the bee grabbing a flower with its jaws and vibrating their wings, causing inaccessible pollen to shake loose. Continue reading “65/150: The Buzz surrounding the Yellow-banded Bumble bee”