Bees Use Flowers for Wallpaper

A rare species of bee uses flower petals to make a tiny nest for each egg. Two teams of researchers found nests of the Osmia (Ozbekosima) avoseta bee in Iran and watched them meticulously build the nests and line them food for the developing baby bees.
To begin construction, she bites the petals off of flowers and flies each petal — one by one — back to the nest, a peanut-sized burrow in the ground.

She then shapes the multi-colored petals into a cocoon-like structure, laying one petal on top of the other and occasionally using some nectar as glue. When the outer petal casing is complete, she reinforces the inside with a paper-thin layer of mud, and then another layer of petals, so both the outside and inside are wallpapered — a potpourri of purple, pink and yellow.

See more pictures at NPR. -via Nag on the Lake

(image credit: Jerome Rozen/American Museum of Natural History)

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I wonder if the bees get something from the petals chemically. For example, perhaps young bees raised here will be more attuned to the flowers they need later.
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