Osmia Lignaria


Osmia Lignaria is the Latin genus and species of an insect commonly known as the Mason Bee or the Blue Orchard Bee, or just BOB for short. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) The BOB is becoming the preferred method of orchard pollination in North America, pushing out the European Honey Bee (Apis Mellifera).

Why?

Well one, BOBs are native to North America. Two, they aren't arficanizable (Africa, bad). Three, they don't produce honey (which, if you ask me, is one less thing to worry about). Four, they don't sting, or more to the point, they sting very rarely. And five, and probably most important to farmers, they are fantastic pollinators, sometimes doubling crop yield, and even yielding crops during seasons that were written off for a loss by Apis Mellifera-using farms.

Why am I talking about this?

I, in coordination with a bee-loving buddy of mine, am going to cultivate BOBs, grow them from larvae, and use them to pollinate my fruit and nut trees.

OOOOOh-Kay, Why?

Because I can. And there're sooo cute, too! They only pollinate in the early spring, then they go dormant. So they're quite easy to care for. Their life-cycle is fascinating. If I ever get you cornered, I'll talk your ear off on all things BOB until you finally gnaw your leg off and run away :-)

3 Comments:

At 1/18/05, 10:11 PM, Blogger Christine said...

finally, you are getting a pet.

 
At 1/19/05, 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do they come when you call?

Carol

 
At 1/20/05, 10:58 AM, Blogger Crinis said...

There isn't much you can do to get them to come. They won't do anything if you call. But, if you put a nice nest out for them, they'll use that and stay close to home. You can also watch them work. They don't sting (very often) and they aren't bothered by large mammals in close proximity to their nest (in their nest is another matter, however).

 

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