Green Orchid Bee

When we are working with our beehives in the backyard, we sometimes have a pretty visitor – the green orchid bee.  This is mainly a solitary bee and the females gather pollen and propolis (plant resin) for nest building.  We see this behavior of gathering propolis firsthand when they come and steal from an open beehive.  To help, I usually gather excess propolis and place it on top of a hive just for the orchid bees to gather and make their nest.

Here are a few photos of a female gathering propolis and placing it in her pollen baskets on her hind legs.

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Plenty of propolis in her pollen baskets.

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She flies up and places propolis she has collected onto her hind legs.

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They have strong mandibles to gather resin.

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Placing propolis on her hind leg.

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