The megachilid bees Osmia lignaria Say, Megachile rotundata (F.), and M. pugnata Say were tested for attraction to various components associated with their old nest cavities, or chemical extracts of these components, using a Y-tube olfactory response bioassay. Female bees of these species are known to nest in or near old nest cavities, implying that remnant nest components are important cues for bees looking for nest cavities. Significant results show that female bees were attracted to components that may provide species-specific cues or indicate conspecific nesting activity. Specifically, O. lignaria females showed attraction only to the female cocoon. M. rotundata females were attracted to intact nest cells, the fecal material on the outside of a cocoon, leaf pieces used as nest cell lining, and the extract of leaf pieces. M. pugnata females were attracted to the whole nest cell, the paper straw nesting material with attached cocoon, and feces.
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