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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Species Osmia lignaria - Blue Orchard Bee

Bee - Osmia lignaria - female Blurry Bee - Osmia lignaria - female Bee - Osmia lignaria - female Blue Orchard Bee - Osmia lignaria - male Blue Orchard Bee - Osmia lignaria - male Megachilidae ?? - Osmia lignaria - male Bee - Osmia lignaria - male
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon (Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees)
Family Megachilidae (Leaf-cutter Bees, Mason Bees, and allies)
Subfamily Megachilinae
Tribe Osmiini
Genus Osmia (Mason Bees)
No Taxon (Subgenus Osmia)
Species lignaria (Blue Orchard Bee)
Other Common Names
Mason orchard bee.
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Osmia purpurascens
Explanation of Names
Author: Say 1837
Female, 10-11 mm. Male, 9-10 mm.
Metallic blue, almost black.
British Columbia to Quebec and the New England states, south to California, Oklahoma and Georgia.
Native to the western US.
They occur in woodlands and forest edges.
March to June.
They visit flowers of cherry, pear and apple and also many others such as quince, laburnum spp and blueberry. The Hosts section on its Discover Life species page lists known floral associations based on specimen records and images.
Life Cycle
O. lignaria are univoltine and winter in the adult stage. Adults are active in the spring, when they build and provision nests. The eggs complete development to fifth instars by early summer; then they spin cocoons and enter a dormant stage. Pupation occurs by late summer, and adult eclosion occurs a month later. Adults hibernate in their cocoons, and emerge in the spring.
It is being managed and developed for use as fruit trees pollinator. Management of O. lignaria. Field use of an incubation box

The beetle Lecontella brunnea (Spinola) was reared from the nest of Osmia lignaria - blue orchard bee.
Internet References
Wings in Flight. a commercial site with good information on bee housing.