Submitted to: Journal of Kansas Entomological Society
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: May 15, 2008
Publication Date: June 1, 2008
Citation: Miliczky, E. 2008. Observations on the nesting biology of Andrena (Plastandrena) prunorum Cockerell in Washington State (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae). Journal of Kansas Entomological Society 81:110-121. Interpretive Summary: Apple crops require pollination, usually provided by bees, and wild bee species may be needed to replace or supplement the pollinating services provided by the domestic honeybee. A scientist with USDA-ARS, Yakima Agricultural Research Laboratory, Wapato, WA studied a solitary bee species known to forage in flowering apple. Observations provided information on nesting habitats, mating, and foraging in orchard and non-orchard habitats. The data led to improved understanding of this species' foraging and nesting requirements, and may aid attempts to use this wild bee as a source of pollination of apple.
Technical Abstract: Nesting and associated behaviors of Andrena (Plastandrena) prunorum Cockerell were studied at two sites in western Washington: a suburban lawn and a vacant lot. A maximum of five nests, usually well separated from one another, was found at a given site and year. Nest and cell structure at both sites were similar, but cell depth differed markedly between sites, and between years at one site. All nests were multi-cellular. Provision masses were flattened spheres of pollen moistened to a doughy consistency. The curved egg was placed atop the provision mass with both ends contacting it. A brief description of larval feeding is provided. Andrena prunorum and its Nomada parasite overwinter as adults. Nests, cell, provision mass, egg placement, and a feeding larva are illustrated. Information on mating, female foraging behavior, and local pollen sources are given. Adult phenology and the possibility of two generations per year are discussed.