Submitted to: Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/30/2008
Publication Date: 11/16/2008
Citation: Yocum, G.D., Rinehart, J.P., Kemp, W.P. 2008. Short-term low temperature storage of alfalfa leafcutting bee. [Abstract]. Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting. Poster # D0812, p. 107.
Technical Abstract: The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) is a major pollinator in alfalfa seed production systems throughout North America. Recent studies have shown that improved timing of female establishment and alfalfa bloom may allow producers to pollinate alfalfa seed crops with fewer bees, thus reducing costs and increasing on-farm profitability. We investigated the effects of a range of selected short-term low temperature storage/incubation treatments on emergence timing and subsequent survival in laboratory assays. Our results show that storing M. rotundata pharate pupae and pharate adults, at a range of low temperatures for up to two weeks, had little effect on emergence patterns and adult survival. However, beyond three weeks of storage we found a significant interaction between developmental stage and storage temperature, and survival to emerged adult rate ranged from 49 to 85%. Our results suggest that further optimization of the cold storage/incubation interval for this bee may allow for improved timing of established females and bloom in alfalfa seed production systems.