hornfaced bee, mason bee, alfalfa leafcutting bee, honey bee, pollination, Osmia cornifrons, Megachile rotundata, Apis mellifera
Pollination of species of Brassicaceae for seed increase at the USDA-ARS North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) has been accomplished for several years by using nucleus hives of honey bees, Apis mellifera L., in field cages. Brassicaceae are cool season crops that need pollination from late April to early June in the north temperate zone. Overwintered hives of honey bees need time to strengthen (i.e., increase their numbers) and thus it is difficult to make enough nuclei to meet our early season pollinations needs. Purchasmg package bees from suppliers in the southern U.S. is an expensive alternative. In this study, three bee species; a solitary bee, Osmza cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae); honey bees; and alfalfa leafcutting bees, Megachile rotundata (Fab) (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae), were compared for their utility as early season pollinators of Brassicaceae species in field cages. Osmza cornifrons proved to be equal to or better than leafcutters and honey bees for pollination of Brassicaceae in field cages as measured by seed produced/plant. Future seed increases of Brassicaceae at the NCRPIS will utilize Osmia cornifrons in field cages because they are effective pollinators and they are easily managed.
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science
© Copyright 1999 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.
Wilson, R. L.; Abel, C. A.; and Luhman, R. L.
"Comparing Three Bee Species for Controlled Pollination of Selected Brassicaceae,"
Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science: JIAS: Vol. 106:
, Article 3.
Available at: http://scholarworks.uni.edu/jias/vol106/iss1/3