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Behaviour and ecology of subtropical carpenter bee, Xylocopa fenestrata F.: 7. Nest preferences and response to nest translocation

, : Behaviour and ecology of subtropical carpenter bee, Xylocopa fenestrata F.: 7. Nest preferences and response to nest translocation. Journal of Apicultural Research 32(2): 102-108

In field trials at Hisar, India, Xylocopa fenestrata preferred to nest in hollow stems of Arundo sp. rather than in stems of castor (Ricinis communis) and completely rejected hollow stems of bamboo. About 97% of the nesting bees occupied tunnels with an internal diameter of 10-12 mm and 80% nested in tunnels 23-30 cm long. Tunnels slanting downward at an angle of 15 degree to the horizontal assisted entry of the bees, but those slanting downward at 30 degree caused some of the pollen unloaded by provisioning bees to roll down out of the tunnel. Tunnels slanting upward at 15 degree and 30 degree hindered the entry of the bees and caused the detaching of pollen loads from the hindlegs; horizontal tunnels did not hinder entry. Newly emerged bees tended to occupy new tunnels near the original tunnel from where they had emerged, and occupied these tunnels for periods from 35 to 375 days. When nests containing immature stages were relocated, the adults which emerged established nests in the new areas, but adult bees taken to a new area did not remain there. The results are discussed in relation to the possible use of this species as a crop pollinator.


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