These are bee-utiful!
Whenever we think of bees and their homes, we immediately think of beehives. But did you know, there’s a rare solitary bee species that lives in what’s called a ‘flowers sandwich’?
Known as osmia avosetta, these bees create colourful three-tiered petal arrangements used to protect their young. These flower sandwiches are so stunning, you’d think you’re looking at a sculpture.
Here’s how they make them: without the help of worker bees, the (strong, independent) mating females source various petals by biting off the material from the flower before flying it back to the nest. They then use mud to glue the layers of petals together.
Once the nest is finished, the bee lays a single egg inside and seals it. After a few days, the larva will hatch and feast on nectar and pollen deposited inside by its parents.
It’s a nesting behaviour that’s definitely got the scientific community… buzzing.
“It’s not common for bees to use parts of plants for nests,” said Dr Jerome Rozen of the American Museum of Natural History. “There’s a demand for biologists to know bees nowadays… they are the foremost animal pollinators of plants, and tremendously important for maintaining ecosystems — not only crops but also for conservation.”
Rozen and his colleagues first discovered the nesting behaviour in Turkey in 2009. On the same day, another team studying bees in Iran made the same exact discovery. Both research groups co-published their findings.
Via Design Boom