Nature Preserve Inhabitants
The Blue Orchard Bee is a type of native "mason bee" that is a very effective pollinator of spring-blooming trees such as plum, cherry, and apple. They can fly in temperatures lower than honey bees tolerate and will even fly when it's raining.It's said that one Blue Orchard Bee is as effective of a pollinator as about 250 honey bees. They are very docile and rarely sting.It is said their sting is quite weak and barely felt.
Please do not jostle their box or poke at the tubes inside. The larve are kind of pathetic and will fall their pollen ball and starve to death if the tubes are moved before they pupate.
Named for it's pungent odor. Found in swamps, wet woods, along streams, and in other wet areas of the Pacific Northwest. Can be found from Alaska to central California, and west into Wyoming and Montana. They bloom from March into May, and is one or the few native species in the arum family.
The bright yellow structure is called a spathe (envelope), and the flowering part is called a spadix. The preferred pollinator is the rove beetle, pictured.