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The Wasmann Journal of Biology (Vol 32 no 1 1974) has an excellent article on a variety of bee species including Osmia californica. It includes range maps of Osmia species. The known distribution of Osmia californica is in western North America and eastwards to Montana and Colorado (including British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho,Wyoming, Utah, Nevada) but not in Arizona or New Mexico.
Female color is metallic blue black, legs black to reddish black. The mandibles have 4 teeth.
Male is black to metallic blue black.
The male and female varies from entirely black to black with white tufts and areas of intermixed black and white.
It appears as early as May in the southern and warmer location and as late as August in higher altitudes.
Biology: The egg is located in the center of the pollen store, with the store usually filling the cell. The cell and plug partitions are constructed of small pieces of masticated leaf and mud. The amount of leaf varied from 1% to 50% of the partition. The partitions were tough, with the outer surface shallowly concave and smooth. The inner surface was rough and the spiral ring construction was easily seen.
This is a great link to view coloured photos of mason bees pests.
Finding anything written about Osmia californica is not easy. Although I found an article written on californica by M. D. Levin, his scientific article was published in the Journal of Kansas Entomological Society, 1966. Unless you are affiliated with a university, only the abstract is available. I will write a summary of the article when I get the full article. But I did find a great web site with good and very detailed photos of Osmia californica. Link to photos of Osmia californica
This free workshop is a great way to harvest your mason bee cocoons and learn about this fascinating hobby.
More than 50 people have already signed up and it should be a lot of fun learning about the different ways that people keep and manage mason bees.
I will be there to lend a hand with identifying the various insects that can be found in mason bee nests.
Come and join the fun at this yearly event.
See you there!
Amsterdam Nursery, 19100 Dewdney Trunk Rd Maple Ridge V3Y 2R8 BC Canada 604 465 6614
The Seattle Tree Fruit Society have a great Key to identifying apple varieties. This key was recently moved to a separate website.
This link will take you directly to the place where you can key out your apple variety.
Apple Identification key
If you want to cruise through the world of apples, go to this website and click onto PHOTOS or APPLE LIST
Here you see apples in their wonderful colour. They look good enough to eat!
This wonderful Key takes the mystery out of apple varieties.
Whenever I go to and apple festival, I remember the colourful show, but traits of individual varieties are lost to me. With this key, that old apple tree in the backyard can be identified.