Free access
Volume 36, Number 3, July-September 2005
Page(s) 439 - 447
Published online 09 August 2005
Apidologie 36 (2005) 439-447
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2005028

Body size, loading capacity and rate of reproduction in the communal bee Andrena agilissima (Hymenoptera; Andrenidae)

Manuela Giovanettia and Eloisa Lassob

a  Dip. Biologia, Università degli Studi di Milano, Via Celoria 26, 20133 Milano, Italy
b  Dep. Plant Biology, University of Illinois, 505 S. Goodwin Av., 265 Morrill Hall, Urbana, IL 61801, USA

(Received 12 February 2004 - revised 3 November 2004 - accepted 12 November 2004; Published online: 9 August 2005)

Abstract - In bees, body size may be particularly important in determining the loading capacity, and consequently the rate of reproduction. We studied a population of Andrena agilissima (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae) in Italy, weighing provisioning females, load being carried and pollen provisions. We found no correlation between adult body size and loading capacity. Weight of pollen collected per trip did not vary across the day, while weight of nectar collected increased in the afternoon. The amount of nectar being carried was independent of the amount of pollen. The A. agilissima rate of reproduction resulted in less than 1 provision mass produced per day (3.6 offspring/female per season). This result is consistent with observations in other Andrena species which suggests a phylogenetic constraint in the rate of reproduction that merits further study.

Key words: body size / loading capacity / Andrenidae / rate of reproduction / pollen / nectar

Corresponding author: Manuela Giovanetti

© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2005