Widespread, but rarely abundant, this is one of the more distinctive Osmia species in the state. It tends to fly slightly later in the spring than other Osmia species and females seem to have a preference for flowers in the pea family; Lupins are a good place to look.
Identification: Superficially similar to several Bumblebee (Bombus) species, in fact this Osmia was accidentally collected by several volunteers and staff during VCE’s Bumble Bee Atlas. The oversized head of the female is often a quick give away. Males have a very long spur on their hind tibia that is occasionally visible and quite distinctive.
Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria) – Blue Orchard Bees are smaller with a bluer body and fewer pale hairs.
See also Leafcutter Bees (Megachile) and the White-fronted Small Mason (Hoplitis albifrons).