The Bees That Make Art
Whilst bees are better known for being colonial insects, outside of the hive a particular species of bee known as the osmia avosetta has crafted a beautiful way of creating nests to protect their young. Without the help of other worker bees, mating females of this species have taken it upon themselves to make these colourful abodes to protect their young.
Over a day or two mother bees source various petals to create the nests before planting a single bee egg inside. the bees do this by biting off the petal from the flower and flying it back to where the nest is burrowed. between each layer, a thin coating of mud is applied before the finished nest is entirely sealed. then after a few days the egg hatches into a larva that spins itself a cocoon inside.
‘it’s not common for bees to use parts of plants for nests,’ says Dr. Jerome Rozen of the American museum of natural history (AMNH), who has conducted extensive research on the phenomenon which can be downloaded here. ‘there’s a demand for biologists to know bees nowadays…they are the foremost animal pollinators of plants, and tremendously important for maintaining ecosystems — not only crops but also for conservation.’