Click image for caption and other photo
Blue Orchard Bees Revealed in New Book
By Marcia Wood
April 19, 2002
Agricultural Research Service bee
researchers on how to raise one of natures best pollinators are presented
in a new book, How to Manage the Blue Orchard Bee As an Orchard
Known to scientists as Osmia lignaria, the blue orchard bee
pollinates almond, apple, apricot, cherry and pear trees. The 96-page softcover
book is based on more than 25 years of research by ARS entomologists at the
agencys Bee Biology and Systematics
Research Laboratory in Logan, Utah.
William P. Kemp and Jordi Bosch are the books co-authors. Kemp is
research leader at the ARS bee lab at Logan. Bosch, formerly a post-doctoral
research associate at the Logan laboratory, is now with the
Department of Biology at
Utah State University, Logan.
In text, hand-drawn illustrations, and color and black-and-white photos, the
authors explain how to rear and release healthy populations of this gentle bee
in orchards and gardens. They also describe the best methods for controlling
the bees natural enemies. And, they show how to build units from
inexpensive everyday materials such as wood blocks, milk cartons and paper
straws that female blue orchard bees can use to make safe, snug nests.
Though the book is primarily intended for beekeeping professionals and
orchardists, it also is a useful reference for hobbyists, home gardeners, and
anyone else interested in the life of this busy native bee, according to Kemp.
The book is available from
the University of Vermont, Burlington.
The blue orchard bee may augment the efforts of the European honey bee,
Apis mellifera, the insect most widely used in the United States to
ARS is the U.S. Department of
Agricultures chief scientific research agency.