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Washington Native Bee Society

Monthly Meeting

February 23rd, 2023 @ 7:30 PM


Joe Dlugo - Raising Blue Orchard Bees: A Year in the Life

A female blue orchard bee on a white background

February 23rd, 2023 at 7:30pm on Zoom

Springtime is rapidly approaching (!), which means the first blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria) could be emerging in a few short weeks. If you've explored the bee circuit for any amount of time, it's likely you have learned their exploits are something of native bee legend. Some growers depend on them for orchard pollination.  Bee hobbyists raise them for fun.  They are extremely good at what they do, and for many of us they are the very first native bee we ever took notice of, and so serve as a catalyst to discovering the fascinating and diverse world we work to promote and protect. So if you're curious about starting your own hotel, or just wondering what all the fuss is about, come along on a journey through a year of being a blue orchard bee "keeper" and see what it takes to successfully raise these extraordinarily talented little pollinators.

To register, fill out the form below


Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria.) Image by Joe Dlugo

Joe Dlugo sits beside a rocky creek with his daughter

Joe Dlugo

Joe Dlugo is a founding member of the Washington Native Bee Society. On a sunny Sunday in the spring of 2014, he was sitting by his front window when a chunky little dark insect came flying out of a drainage hole in the frame.  It then flew back in, then did this again, and again...until he realized it was a world-renown blue orchard bee building a nest.  Over the years he has managed that initial population with meticulous vigor, growing nest numbers into the tens of thousands. 

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