The blue orchard bee is a solitary nester, but it is gregarious so prefers to nest in groups. Males emerge in the spring and females emerge several days later, living for about a month. Females mate soon after emerging and begin nesting within three to four days, creating nests in existing holes in wood. The female places a mud plug at the bottom of the nest and then she brings pollen and nectar into the nest. An egg is laid and the cell is sealed with a thin mud plug. The female continues building the nest in this way and then seals it with a thick mud plug. Larvae hatch from the eggs after a few days. The larvae then spin cocoons and pupate within the cells. Pupae turn into adults at the end of the summer but remain in the cocoons throughout the winter.
- How to Manage the Blue Orchard Bee: As an Orchard Pollinator (J. Bosch and W. Kemp, Sustainable Agriculture Network, 2001)
- Orchard Mason Bees (Gardening in Western Washington, Washington State University Extension)
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