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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fargo, North Dakota » Edward T. Schafer Agricultural Research Center » Insect Genetics and Biochemistry Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #354519

Title: Characterizing the upper thermal limits of an important pollinator

item Debardlabon, Korie
item ARNOLD, ISAAC - North Dakota State University
item Yocum, George
item Rinehart, Joseph - Joe
item GREENLEE, KENDRA - North Dakota State University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2018
Publication Date: 11/11/2018
Citation: Debardlabon, K.M., Arnold, I., Yocum, G.D., Rinehart, J.P., Greenlee, K.J. 2018. Characterizing the upper thermal limits of an important pollinator [abstract]. 2018 Entomology Society of America/Entomology Society of Canada Joint Annual Meeting. Nov 11-14, 2018. Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Paper No. D3171.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, is an important pollinator. M. rotundata is one of the most extensively managed solitary bees. They are used around the world, because they are effective at pollinating alfalfa and some fruits and vegetables. Commercially, M. rotundata nest in nesting boxes that are placed into farmers’ fields. Preliminary data suggest that these nesting boxes can exceed 50°C. Furthermore, climate change is expected to increase the frequency of extreme events. This may mean nesting boxes will get even warmer throughout some days. Female M. rotundata spend their days making brood cells out of cut leaves. Each brood cell is filled with food and an egg before it is capped with leaf pieces. The brood cells line the inside of straws that have been placed into the nesting boxes. M. rotundata overwinter as pre-pupae but may be found in the nesting boxes at varying stages throughout the summer. It is unclear how M. rotundata at different life stages would be affected by hot nesting box temperatures. This study aims to pinpoint the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) of M. rotundata to help farmers determine if field nest box temperatures may be too hot for bees. These results will improve the commercial management practices of M. rotundata.