Homfaced bees (Osmia comlfrons) are solitary megachilid bees that are native to Japan, where they have been used as orchard pollinators for over 40 years (1, 3). They are quite unlike honey bees in behavior, and thus they must be managed differently. Like other solitary bees (2), they have no queens, workers, hives, wax, or stored honey. Most of the year, they are dormant, and the adult bees forage and pollinate only during spring. Only one generation of bees is produced each year. After mating in early spring, each female constructs rows of cells made of mud inside tubes supplied by the beekeeper. Each mud cell is provisioned by the female with a mixture of nectar and pollen, on which she lays an egg. Each cell is sealed with mud and the larva feeds and develops without further attention from its mother.
Batra, Suzanne W. T., "Japanese Hornfaced Bees, Gentle and Efficient New Pollinators" (1989). Ba. Paper 97.
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