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Orchard mason bee with pollen mites

Osmia lignaria

Description:

I found several of these mason bees carrying pollen mites in my backyard (pic 5 shows one without the mites). The mite is known as Krombein's hairy-footed pollen mite (Chaetodactylus krombeini). They hitch a ride on the mason bee gathering between the thorax and abdomen.

Habitat:

Spotted in my backyard gardens. Attracted to Tall Oregon grape which is one of my first bloomers.

Notes:

From Wikipedia: Pollen mites do not feed on bees, but rather their provisions, and are harmful because they consume the food resources and starve or stunt the developing larvae; there is evidence that pollen mites also directly harm the egg by puncturing it.

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Brian38
Spotted by
Brian38

Federal Way, Washington, USA

Spotted on Apr 6, 2020
Submitted on Apr 10, 2020

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