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Nest Construction and Life History of the Eastern Cucurbit Bee, Peponapis pruinosa (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)

John A. Mathewson
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Vol. 41, No. 2 (Apr., 1968), pp. 255-261
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25083703
Page Count: 7
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Nest Construction and Life History of the Eastern Cucurbit Bee, Peponapis pruinosa (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)
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Abstract

Nests are built by individual females in the soil adjacent to plantings of Cucurbita spp. They consist of groups of four to five vertical oval cells surrounding a vertical main shaft from which the provisioned cells are cut off by filling of lateral galleries. A short diverticulum from the main shaft just below the nest entrance serves as "antechamber." The life history stages and cocoons resemble those of other eucerine bees that have been described. This bee winters over as a prepupa, and pupation occurs in late June and early July. Emergence of adults is closely synchronized with the onset of blossoming of Cucurbita spp. Nest construction begins about two weeks after adult emergence, and continues into early September. Individual females probably construct more than one nest per season. A large perennial aggregation of nests can develop in favorable soil if Cucurbita sp. is planted perennially and the nesting area is undisturbed.

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