Translator Disclaimer
1 August 2005 Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Population Dynamics, Flower Availability, and Pollination Rates in Two Oregon Alfalfa Fields
Jordi Bosch, WilliamP. Kemp
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Since the 1970s, it has become increasingly difficult for U.S. alfalfa seed producers to maintain Megachile rotundata (F.) populations used for alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., pollination. In 1998, we monitored M. rotundata population dynamics and foraging behavior, as well as alfalfa bloom and pollination rates in two fields in eastern Oregon. Despite marked differences in bee management, establishment was very similar in the two fields (≈0.5 females per nesting cavity) and lagged peak bloom by ≈2 wk. Pollination rates increased from 0–10% in the first 3 wk to 80–90% in week 4–5. By then, M. rotundata females had difficulty finding untripped (nonpollinated) flowers and visited large numbers of already tripped or not fully matured flowers. M. rotundata progeny mortality was very high (54–78%). Estimated seed yields were similar in both fields. We contend similar seed yields, and improved bee production, could be accomplished with smaller bee populations, better timed with alfalfa bloom.

Jordi Bosch and WilliamP. Kemp "Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee Population Dynamics, Flower Availability, and Pollination Rates in Two Oregon Alfalfa Fields," Journal of Economic Entomology 98(4), 1077-1086, (1 August 2005). https://doi.org/10.1603/0022-0493-98.4.1077
Received: 23 March 2004; Accepted: 1 June 2004; Published: 1 August 2005
JOURNAL ARTICLE
10 PAGES

This article is only available to subscribers.
It is not available for individual sale.
+ SAVE TO MY LIBRARY

SHARE
ARTICLE IMPACT
RIGHTS & PERMISSIONS
Get copyright permission
Back to Top