Cavity-nesting megachilid bees in the genus Osmia, found throughout the Palearctic and Nearctic regions, are good candidates for domestication. In North America, Osmia lignaria Say has been reported to be an excellent pollinator of tree fruit and is currently being developed for commercial use in orchards. This is largely because of research over several decades with the western subspecies of this bee, Osmia lignaria propinqua Cresson, in western orchards. The behavior of the eastern subspecies, O. lignaria lignaria Say, in eastern orchards has not previously been reported. This study evaluated the nesting activity and pollen preference of a population of the eastern subspecies in five orchards in the foothills and piedmont regions of North Carolina and Virginia over a 2-yr period. Apple was present in all orchards and all were bordered by hardwood forest. Shelters were placed both within orchards and the forest border. Emergence dates, nest construction, and orchard bloom were monitored weekly. Bee populations increased by 2–3 times annually at most orchards. Pollen species comprising nest provisions from 720 individual nest cells were identified and quantified using scanning electron microscopy. The greatest amount of pollen (46–82%) was that of a small understory tree, Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis L.), at all orchard sites where these trees were present nearby. The quantity of orchard pollen was relatively low, <20% at full apple bloom, except for one orchard (53%) without nearby redbud. O. lignaria lignaria appears to prefer Eastern redbud pollen over orchard pollen.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 43 • No. 4