|Abstract or Summary
- The study provides the details of the ethology of Megachile rotundata
(Fabricius), and presents preliminary observations on its
foraging and nesting behavior. Development from prepupae to adults
proceeds most rapidly at 32 degrees C., and is retarded when held
at lower and higher temperatures.
Male behavior is distinct from that of the female. Mating, including
the copulation process arid sleeping, are described.
Requirements necessary for nesting are presented. These included:
types of nesting places, natural and artificial; size range of
tunnels; and the effects of competition on nesting.
Females used leaf sections from a variety of plant species in
construction of their cells. Description included desirable leaf characteristics,
cutting procedures used to remove leaf sections from
plants and return of bees to given leaf sources. The construction of
the cell cup is detailed as to leaf placement, number of leaves used,
cell dimensions, and arrangement of cells under various nesting conditions.
After formation of the cell cup it is provisioned with pollen
and nectar. Procedures of pollen collection, removal of pollen from
the scopa, and the use of nectar for moistening the pollen mass were
included as were descriptions of oviposition and cell capping. Upon
completion of a cell series, the entrance to the tunnel was sealed,
using leaf cuttings.
All procedures of cell construction were influenced by the age
of the bee and behavioral changes noted toward the end of the flight
It was found that orientation to the nesting site is largely through
visual association with gross characteristics of the area and that
markers aided in orientation. Preliminary observations on color discrimination
indicated that bees could distinguish between colors.
Foraging studies were conducted in the presence and absence of
alfalfa and included notes on flower preference and pollen collecting.
Flight range studies indicated that bees forage plants closest to their
nesting site and increase their range as close bloom is no longer
Attempts made to relocate bees in new areas met with only
Morning and evening behavior of bees were characterized and
climatic conditions responsible for commencement and cessation of