1 Tahrcountry Musings: Bee Research- Amazing Serendipity

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Bee Research- Amazing Serendipity

In a rare coincidence, researchers working in Turkey and Iran discovered on the same day how a rare species of bee Osima (Ozbekosima) avoseta builds its underground nests.  A group of American researchers were working near Antalya, Turkey while another group of researchers from Iran were in the field in Fars Province, Iran.

The rare bee line the nest's brood chambers with petals of pink, yellow, blue, and purple flowers. The female builds a nest in one or two vertical chambers close to the surface or between 1.5 and 5 cm below ground.

After bringing in the petals the female brings in claylike mud to the nest, plasters a thin layer (about 0.5 mm thick) on the petals, and finishes the lining with another layer of petals. A mix of nectar and pollen are then placed on the chamber's floor. An egg is deposited on its surface, and the chamber is closed by carefully folding the petals at the top. The larvae eat the deposited food, spin a cocoon, and goes into a 10-month sleep until spring.

About 20,000 bee species have been described so far. Nearly 75% of bee species are solitary.

Details of research appear in American Museum Novitates.

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