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Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems$
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Rosalind James and Theresa L. Pitts-Singer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195316957

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195316957.001.0001

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Life Cycle Ecophysiology of Osmia Mason Bees Used as Crop Pollinators

Life Cycle Ecophysiology of Osmia Mason Bees Used as Crop Pollinators

(p.83) 6 Life Cycle Ecophysiology of Osmia Mason Bees Used as Crop Pollinators
Bee Pollination in Agricultural Ecosystems

Jordi Bosch

Fabio Sgolastra

William P. Kemp

Oxford University Press

Several solitary bee species in the genus Osmia have been studied as potential pollinators of fruit trees and other early-blooming crops. Methods to manage large populations in agro-ecosystems have been developed for at least three species. This chapter reviews current knowledge on the life cycle of Osmia and emphasizes the need to establish a solid ecophysiological basis to develop adequate rearing methods for these species. Two phenological events — the timing of adult diapause in the autumn, and the timing of emergence in the spring — require particular attention when managing Osmia populations. The timing of adult diapause is critical because pre-wintering temperatures have a profound effect on fat body depletion, winter survival, and vigor at emergence. Timing of emergence and its synchronization with bloom of the target crop is important to maximize pollination and production of bee progeny. Both events can be adjusted with proper temperature management.

Keywords:   Osmia lignaria, Osmia cornifrons, Osmia cornuta, fruit tree pollination, ecophysiology, life cycle, phenology, wintering, diapause, fat body

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