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photo by M. Goettel, Ag Canada
Slide 9 of 18

If you cut open a cell shortly after the bee completes construction you will see a mass of pollen mixed with nectar, and an egg. The egg hatches, feeds on the provisions, spins a cocoon, and overwinters in the last larval instar. In the spring it pupates and emerges as an adult about the time that alfalfa blooms. 
Pollen balls are cells that contain uneaten pollen provisions, either because no egg was laid, or because the egg or young larva died before feeding.

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