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Showing posts from March, 2018

Bee Atlas 2016 bee blocks

The Minnesota Bee Atlas is excited to share the results from our 2016 bee blocks.  Citizen science volunteers observed 116 blocks across Minnesota from April to October, 2016 to see which of the six sizes of holes were being used for nests and what materials were being used.  Female solitary bees began building nests in the backs of the holes by laying an egg on a ball of pollen and sealing off the chamber before laying another egg.  The resulting larvae would typically overwinter before emerging from the nests as adults the following spring or summer but the blocks were instead returned to St. Paul campus and placed in cold storage to simulate a Minnesota winter.  As the blocks were warmed in the spring of 2017, adult bees, wasps, and other invertebrates emerged.  Each specimen was pinned, identified, and will be stored permanently in the University of Minnesota Insect Collection.


More than 2500 specimens were recorded, including 1218 bees and 1140 wasps.  Representing 8 genera and 2…