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Document Type

Research

Keywords

hornfaced bee, mason bee, alfalfa leafcutting bee, honey bee, pollination, Osmia cornifrons, Megachile rotundata, Apis mellifera

Abstract

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.

Publication Date

March 1999

Journal Title

Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science

Volume

106

Issue

1

First Page

1

Last Page

3

Copyright

© Copyright 1999 by the Iowa Academy of Science, Inc.

Language

EN

File Format

application/pdf