Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 4, 2009
Publication Date: December 15, 2009
Citation: Yocum, G.D., Rinehart, J.P., Kemp, W.P. 2009. Synchronizing Bees With Bloom: Interrupted Incubation and Short-Term Storage of the Alfalfa Pollinator, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) [abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Poster No. D0153. Technical Abstract: Interrupting the spring incubation with short-term low-temperature storage of the developing pupae and pharate adult stage of Megachile rotundata (F.) is a useful technique for synchronizing the emergence of these bees with the peak alfalfa bloom. However, low-temperature exposure can be stressful depending on the temperature, duration of exposure and the developmental stage exposed. To evaluate the effect of low-temperature storage, after development was initiated by exposure to 29ºC, three developmental stages (eye pigment pupae, body pigment pupae, and pharate adults ready to emerge) were exposed to 6, 12 or 18ºC for durations up to 28 days. The effect of delaying the termination of overwintering storage at 6ºC from April to July (“April bees” and “July bees”, respectively) was also examined. The following observations were made: 1) All developmental stages examined of the April bees and July bees can be stored without harmful effects, as measured by percent survival, for 14 days at 12ºC and above. 2) The increase of overwintering duration also induced a decrease in the postemergence longevity of the ready-to-emerge adults stored at 6ºC for 14 days. 4) Of the three storage temperatures examined, 18ºC appears to be the optimal storage temperature for short-term storage of developing bees because of their slow but continuing development without increased mortality either during storage or after emergence.