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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: BIOCHEMISTRY OF PEST AND BENEFICIAL INSECTS AND INTERACTIONS WITH HOST PLANTS AND NATURAL ENEMIES

Location: Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research

Title: Relationship between body size and homing ability in the genus Osmia (Hymenoptera; Megachilidae)

Authors
item Guedot, Christelle - UTAH STATE UNIVERSITY
item Borsch, Jordi - CREAF
item Kemp, William

Submitted to: Ecological Entomology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2008
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The maximum ability of female bees to return to the nest after being displaced a certain distance is considered an estimate of their maximum foraging distance. We provide data on homing ability and body weight for Osmia lignaria and combine it with data for 5 other Osmia species O. rufa, O. cornuta, O. pedcornis, O. cornifrons, and O. emarginata for analysis. These species are important pollinators of spring and summer flowering plants, and some have been developed as commercial crop pollinoartors. We show that homing ability is positively correlated to body weight. The ecological implications of our results in relation to pollen dispersal in agricultural ecosystems are discussed.

Technical Abstract: The maximum homing ability of female bees, that is, their capacity to return to the nest after being displaced a certain distance, is considered an estimate of their maximum foraging distance. We provide data on homing ability and body weight for Osmia lignaria and combine it with data for 5 other congenerics O. rufa, O., cornuta, O. pedicornis, O. cornifrons, and O. emarginata for analysis. These species are important pollinators of spring-flowering plants, and some have been developed as commercial crop pollinators. We show that homing ability is positively and linearly related to body weight (r² = 0.81; P = 0.01). We discuss the ecological implications of our results in relation to pollen dispersal in agricultural ecosystems.

Last Modified: 8/22/2014
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