... The areoles of Opuntia definitely produce extra-floral necctar, and are visited by all sorts of bees, wasps, and flies. The only slightly odd thing is thatMessage 1 of 5 , Apr 5, 2011View Source
>I have attached a picture of this bee, and was wondering if someoneThe areoles of Opuntia definitely produce extra-floral necctar, and
>might recognize it and/or explain the behavior.
are visited by all sorts of bees, wasps, and flies. The only slightly
odd thing is that this is generally most obvious on the young growth,
and this bee is clearly visiting an older pad. Of course, bees are
smart enough that they might learn that areoles are good nectar
sources - after foraging nearer the meristem - and be persistent
about checking out areoles that may no longer be producing
significant nectar rewards.
Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
"There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
Regarding identification of this Osmia female, it appears to have strong white tergal hair bands. I therefore suspect that it could be Osmia (Diceratosmia)Message 2 of 5 , Apr 5, 2011View SourceRegarding identification of this Osmia female, it appears to have strong
white tergal hair bands. I therefore suspect that it could be Osmia
(Diceratosmia) subfasciata subfasciata which has "been collected as early
as March 7 at Brownsville, Texas" (not too far SSE of Harlingen).
> Hi all,--
> I was out recently to take pictures of bees in the open prickly pear
> cactus flowers, and noted a bee spending a lot of time around the spines.
> At first I thought it was a halictid due to its blue-green color, but
> after examining the photos, I am not so sure anymore. My next thought was
> Osmia, but am a little confused by the behavior. I know some bees will
> collect other plant parts for nesting, but I didn't think Osmia was one of
> those groups. I have attached a picture of this bee, and was wondering if
> someone might recognize it and/or explain the behavior. The picture was
> taken at the Arroyo Colorado birding center park in Harlingen, TX.
John S. Ascher, Ph.D.
Bee Database Project Manager
Division of Invertebrate Zoology
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West @ 79th St.
New York, NY 10024-5192
work phone: 212-496-3447
mobile phone: 917-407-0378