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Re: [beemonitoring] Bee collecting cactus spines? [1 Attachment]

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  • Doug Yanega
    ... 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 that
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 5 9:06 AM
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      >I have attached a picture of this bee, and was wondering if someone
      >might recognize it and/or explain the behavior.

      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 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.

      Peace,
      --

      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)
      http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
      "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
      is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
    • John S. Ascher
      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 9:56 AM
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        Regarding 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).

        John

        > 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.
        >
        > Thanks,
        > Chanda
        >
        >
        >
        >


        --
        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
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