Monthly Archives: March 2013

Flower Children: The Colorful Nests of Osmia

Photo by Jerome Rozen/American Museum of Natural History

Photo by Jerome Rozen/American Museum of Natural History

Bee larvae never have to share a room. The mother crafts for each of her children a nursery room, called a “cell.” Some species build these cells out of mud, others out of leaves. But perhaps the most beautiful nurseries are built by some species of the genus Osmia, which construct cells out of a paper-thin layer of mud encased in colorful flower petals (pictured above).

In the charmingly written article “Busy Bees Use Flower Petals for Nest Wallpaper,” NPR writer Kathleen Masterson interviews bee nest expert Jerome Rozen on the artistic habits of these solitary bees in an article complete with gorgeous photos taken by none other than Dr. Rozen himself. I highly recommend it to bee enthusiasts and romantic dreamers alike.

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