There are over 20,000 species of bees in the world and while they’re all fascinating, this one creates stunning purple jewels for its offspring to eat.

Let’s meet the blue orchard bee, a little creature helping make it possible for us to eat almonds and other fruit!

Image: Blue Orchard Mason Bee on flower

Source: naturalflow // Flickr

The nests that the blue orchard bees create look like a piece of jewelry. And we’re lucky enough that Deep Look has created a wonderful video all about how the females go about making these beautiful homes for their young!

(Don’t miss taking a peek over at the Deep Look’s YouTube channel some time. It is a place of wonder that can transform your view of the world around us! They get really, really close!)

Via: Deep Look 1

The producer of the episode with a little more information for us…

Producer, Gabriela Quiros, responded in the comments of the video with some fascinating information on how the bees actually get out of the tube nest once they’re mature and how the sex of the bees is determined by the mother! Take a look.

“A few of you have asked how adult blue orchard bees get out of the nest. Jim Cane, a native bee ecologist at the US Department of Agriculture, explained that adults chew their way out of their tough cocoon and then keep on chewing to pass through the mud partitions and ultimately the mud closure of the nest. Like all bees, the female blue orchard bee gets to choose the sex of each offspring – fertilized eggs become females; unfertilized eggs become males. She puts female eggs at the back of the nest and males at the front. Most females mate only once, so males that are late to the game will have fewer offspring. That’s why adult males of all solitary bees emerge a few days to a week before the females. An emerged bee will be patient and wait for a few days for the next in line to exit. If its sibling doesn’t emerge because it has died, the bee will eat through its sibling’s cocoon and keep going. Thanks for your questions!”

Fascinating stuff, right? It’s not every species that can bring offspring into the world without fertilization.

Are you interested in the other 19,999 species of bees in the world?

While we don’t have information on all of them here on EWC, we have featured a few that have really caught our attention.

For starters, this orchid bee, whose also solitary, uses a carefully concocted type of “perfume” in their legs to attract mates. Check them out in this article:

7 minutes

These Bees Make Their Own Perfume!

Male orchid bees don't just look beautiful, they also smell beautiful (well, to female bees anyway). These little guys are the perfumers of the forest, collecting smells in hopes of finding a mate. Here's how they do it!

Read More

And then we get to the honey bees. As their name indicates, they’re the only subspecies of bee that creates honey, but the ones in this article create honey that can give us all wild hallucinations. Learn about the Himalayan honey bee in the following…

15 minutes

The Last Hallucinogenic Honey Hunters of Nepal

What could come from documenting some of the most remarkable human traditions? Today we head to breathtaking heights on the steep cliffs of Nepal and have the privilege of looking behind the scenes of what's said to be the last traditional hallucinogenic honey harvest. You won't want to miss this!

Read More

And have you ever wondered how honeybees communicate with each other? It seems it all comes down to a dance. Take a look!

13 minutes

Why Should We Care About the Waggle Dance?

This is definitely an EWC "Who Knew?" article! Learn why we all might want to be doing the waggle dance to support bees around the world. Amazing!

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Even though they’re all under the umbrella term of “bee”, they each present very differently. It kind of makes you think of how different each of us is, right? How, even though we’re all human, life looks very different for each of us.

Stay open to new possibilities!

  • Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”— Albert Einstein 

Want to meet more of the creatures we share the world with?

They’re waiting for you in this category!

Animals on EWC

Are we missing anyone? Let us know!

Notes:

  1. “Watch This Bee Build Her Bee-Jeweled Nest | Deep Look.” YouTube, Deep Look, 7 Aug. 2018, www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPbH1YhsdP8. Accessed 5 Sept. 2018.

Sam Burns

Editor in Chief

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and procurer of cheeses.

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