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Osmia ribifloris, a Native Bee Species Developed as a Commercially Managed Pollinator of Highbush Blueberry (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

P. F. Torchio
Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Vol. 63, No. 3 (Jul., 1990), pp. 427-436
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25085200
Page Count: 10
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Osmia ribifloris, a Native Bee Species Developed as a Commercially Managed Pollinator of Highbush Blueberry (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)
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Abstract

Results of a field-trapping program for a native bee species, Osmia ribifloris biedermannii Michener, and the subsequent release of that population into a commercial plantation of highbush blueberry are presented. The 400 females reared from field traps produced 1461 cells after their release in a blueberry plantation. Nest holes of 6 mm in diameter were more attractive than 7 mm holes, cell provisions were composed exclusively of blueberry pollen-nectar resources, and immatures developed normally on those provisions. A unique non-sonicating method for collecting pollen from blueberry flowers is described; head and thoracic features adapted as "safe sites" for the transfer of pollen from flower to flower are also described; the average time spent at flowers and in flight between flowers is recorded; and, numbers of flowers visited/cell constructed is established. Data on nesting are used to calculate the potential nesting success of a population not exposed to pesticide treatments.

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