Scientific note: cavity-nesting Osmia bruneri bees (Megachilidae) can use fruit pulp for nest construction
The cavity-nesting solitary bee Osmia bruneri (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) normally partitions and plugs its nest tunnel with masticated leaf pulp. In 2018, many females of a captive population were observed collecting pulp from drupelets of both unripe and ripe red raspberries (Rubus idaeus) despite available foliage from this plant as well as five weedy forbs. Females capped 122 nests with raspberry pulp, the material that they used for their nests’ cell partitions as well. Such red nest plugs were never produced by the preceding ten captive generations of this bee (about 3000 nests), even when caged with raspberries. Raspberry fruit pulp proved to be of intermediate preference for nest construction among alternative foliar choices offered to nesting females.
KeywordsApiformes Megachilidae nesting Osmia bruneri Rubus idaeus
Byron Love first noticed the red closures and provided some observations. Vince Tepedino provided helpful insights.
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