Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2009
Publication Date: December 15, 2009
Citation: Rinehart, J.P., Yocum, G.D., Kemp, W.P. 2009. Synchronizing the Alfalfa Seed Production Pollinator, Megachile rotundata (F.), with Peak Bloom: Effects of Water Balance [abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Poster No. D0152. Technical Abstract: An important component in the use of the alfalfa leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata for pollination is synchronizing adult bee emergence with peak crop bloom. Previously, our research group has demonstrated that spring incubations of developing bees can be interrupted by short-term low-temperature storage, effectively delaying adult emergence by up to two weeks. Additionally, we have demonstrated that using fluctuation thermal regimes (FTR) during this storage period greatly increases shelf-life when compared to a static thermal regime (STR). This study evaluates the effect of humidity on the storage of bees during this period. Our results indicate that when stored in a STR with humidity ranging from 0% to 100%, survival varies directly with humidity in a dose-responsive manner. Survival in a FTR varied directly with humidity as well, but interestingly, none of the bees stored at constant humidity survived as well as those stored in an incubator where relative humidity was allowed to fluctuate along with temperature. Hence, it is our conclusion that hygroperiod is an important aspect of the protection afforded by FTR storage.