The influence of simulated climate change on body weight and depletion of fat body reserves was studied during diapause in the European solitary bee Osmia rufa L. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Insects (females) were reared and collected from outdoor nests from September to March. One cohort of females was weighed and dissected immediately for analyses, whereas another cohort was subjected to simulated warmer temperature (15°C for 7 d) before analyses. A gradual decline in body mass and fat body content was recorded with declining temperatures from September to January in female bees from natural conditions. Temperature increased gradually from January to March with a further decline in body mass and fat body content. The fat body development index dropped from five in September—October (≈89% individuals) to four for the period from November to February (≈84% individuals) and further to three in March (95% individuals) before emergence. Simulated warmer winter temperature also resulted in a similar decline in body weight and fat body content; however, body weight and fat body content declined faster. The fat body development index dropped to three in December in the majority of individuals and continued at this level until March just before emergence. Taken together, our data indicate an earlier depletion of fat body reserves under simulated climate change conditions that may impact ovarian development and reproductive fitness in O. rufa.
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Vol. 41 • No. 6