To discover the effect of environmental factors on pollinator visitation to flowering Medicago sativa, several field experiments were designed to examine the diurnal movement patterns of wild bee species in the Hexi Corridor of northwestern China. Our study results showed that Megachile abluta, M. spissula, and Xylocopa valga showed unimodal diurnal foraging behavior, whereas Andrena parvula and Anthophora melanognatha showed bimodal diurnal foraging behavior. Correlation analysis indicated that diurnal foraging activities of pollinators were significantly correlated with environmental factors. Correlations of foraging activities versus environmental factors for M. abluta, M. spissula, and X. valga best fit a linear model, whereas those of A. parvula and A. melanognatha best fit a parallel quadratic model. Results of this study indicated that solitary wild bees such as M. abluta, M. spissula, X. valga, A. parvula, and A. melanognatha are potential alfalfa pollinators in the Hexi Corridor. An understanding of the environmental factors that affect the behaviors of different wild bees foraging in alfalfa are basic to the utilization of solitary wild bees in a practical way for increased, or more consistent, pollination of alfalfa for seed production.
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