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Last week a mason bee keeper asked me to look at these two photos and give them feedback on the insects inside the nesting tunnels. Every nesting tunnel tells a story!
|These are beneficial wasp pupae encased in a very delicate cover. They provision their nests with either spiders,
aphids or moth larvae. Sometimes if an egg does not
develop the larvae food remains in the cell.
|This is a picture of cocoons harvested from nesting tunnels.
The dark brown, still with mud attached, is from the early
spring mason bee Osmia lignaria. The reddish cocoon with its bright
orange fecal material and masticated leaf plugs are probably
Osmia californica. Osmia californica is active towards the end of the
early spring mason bee activity.