Not many people know that there is a special kind of bee species known by the name Osmia calmainthae. This type of bee is very unique because of its blue and black color and its natural habitat. The blue bee is native to a small area in Florida. But, it is rarely seen so many researchers thought that it disappeared completely.
However, scientists from Florida have again spotted the blue calamintha. The rare blue bee was last seen four years ago in 2016 and was likely to be extinct.
The Blue Bee Spotted Once Again In Florida
“I thought we wouldn’t find it again, so we were so excited when we saw it,” said entomologist Chase Kimmel of the University of Florida, who found the bee.
Kimmel noticed this representative of a rare species when he and a colleague were installing a bee habitat on the reef of Lake Wales. The blue bee grabbed the flower and rubbed her head against its top.
“We noticed a bright blue bee grabbing a flower and rubbing its head against its top two or three times before moving on to another flower,” Kimmel told CNN. They read about this unique behavior but they didn’t expect to see it.
Although the discovery of this bee (Osmia calaminthae) indicates that it is still present and not extinct. Little is known about the behavior of this species, biology, and habitat conditions. Kimmel and his collaborator Jaret Daniels are presently working on a two-year research project.
The project should resolve the present population of that species, feeding methods, and habitat. The project is funded by the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida that gave almost 43 million dollars (from 1994) for researches like this one.
These bees are native to Florida, they are only found in the Lake Wales Ridge area. This spot has one of the quickest disappearing ecosystems in the country.
“It’s one thing to read about habitat loss and development and another to be driving for 30-40 minutes through miles of orange groves just to get to a really small conservation site,” said Kimmel for CNN. “It puts into perspective how much habitat loss affects all the animals that live in this area.”
Blue calamintha bees don’t live in big colonies. The female bee makes a nest but doesn’t take care of the young bees. Scientists hope that they can learn more about this extraordinary bee, its nesting preferences and behavior which wasn’t studied before.