Home Science Bees create beautiful nests with flower petals

Bees create beautiful nests with flower petals

Osmia avosetta, abejas, nidos con pétalos, capullos, insectos, metamorfosis

Flower petal nests are not only beautiful to look at, but also play an important role in bee reproduction. These cocoons provide a safe haven for baby bees to hatch and begin their journey around the world.

In the year 2009, surprisingly and perhaps influenced by mystical forces, two groups of scientists came across the fascinating species of bees osmia avosetta. The discoveries occurred just one day apart: one team in Turkey and another in Iran.

What they discovered is truly fascinating: tiny nests meticulously crafted from flower petals. Each of these nests takes one to two days to build and provides a safe haven for a single bee egg. The beauty and care with which these bees create their homes is incredible.

Bees bite flower petals to build nests

osmia avosetta

It is not common for bees to use parts of plants to make nests.said Dr. Jerome Rozen of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), a member of the team in Turkey. “There is a demand for biologists to know about bees these days,” he added. “They are the main animal pollinators of plants, and extremely important for the maintenance of ecosystems, not only for crops, but also for conservation.“.

Mother bees accomplish this beautiful task by biting off a flower petal and carrying it back, one by one, to the desired location. They begin nest building in a small burrow, layering the petals in surprisingly meticulous order. As described in the research, which was published in AMNH, American Museum Novitiates:

“… The petals were shaped like the top of a heart and arranged in the same way: their points pointing downwards and the cut side pointing upwards and overlapping like scales on both the inner and outer lining of the petals.“.

After applying the first layer, a thin layer of mud, possibly moistened with nectar, is added before adding another layer of petals. This forms a storage depot for provisions, “a sticky mixture of orange-yellow pollen, evenly combined with nectar

After the egg is laid, the mother bee carefully and beautifully seals the package. After a few days, the egg hatches into a larva, which feeds on the package the mother bee left for her to care for. The larva then builds a cocoon inside the warm floral home and patiently waits until it is ready to emerge into the outside world.

special design

The flower nests are a real delight for our senses, but they also have a very special design. In addition to beauty, researchers explain to us that these structures are designed in a unique way. The floral bark contains trapped air which allows it to float in the event of flooding in the area. So, in addition to being beautiful, these nests also have a practical and incredible function.

Also, the moisture from the petals is beneficial in maintaining the water content of the nest and provisions. On the other hand, the rigidity of the nest offers protection against predators and parasites to its inhabitant. As the study points out:

Although the mosaic of colors on the outer surface of a cell or even strong colors is a surprising phenomenon to the human eye, the color of the cell surface is obviously not important to the female bee or her nest. We believe that the survival value of building this elaborate cellular petal and ground covering is the texture, water content, and water and moisture repellent nature of the petals.“.

This concept is undoubtedly attractive and remains an interesting topic even years after its discovery.

With information from: https://www.treehugger.com/

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