We are not sure what the bee species is in this photograph, but it shows the yellow pollen carried on the base of the bees' abdomen. This makes it a solitary bee in the Megachilidae family - the same family as the mason bee Osmia lignaria and the alfalfa leaf cutter bee, Megachilidae rotundata. Gary G. from Sechelt, British Columbia, sent these photos to me for publishing on this blog. They were taken on 15th July 2010.
The rough mud plugs are typical of the early spring mason bee.
|A summer solitary bee species using a nesting tunnel of a LODGE with Corn Quicklock nesting trays www.beediverse.com|
Note that no paper liners are necessary with this system. The internal walls of the tunnels have a mat finish to counter the usual slippery finish of plastic material and these nesting trays are made from 80% CORN material making them more attractive to bees than straight plastic.
Especially in the wet west coast climate, avoid mold on the surface of cocoons (although this can be washed off with bleach water) by opening up nest early in the fall. Late September is a good time to harvest cocoons and clean out your mason bee nests.