Free access
Volume 38, Number 1, January-February 2007
Page(s) 86 - 92
Published online 16 January 2007
Apidologie 38 (2007) 86-92
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2006060

Foraging behaviour of a blue banded bee, Amegilla chlorocyanea in greenhouses: implications for use as tomato pollinators

Katja Hogendoorn, Steven Coventry and Michael Anthony Keller

University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Adelaide SA 5005, Australia

(Received 13 March 2006 - Revised 9 June 2006 - Accepted 16 June 2006 - Published online 16 January 2007)

Abstract - Blue-banded bees (Amegilla spp.) are Australian native buzz pollinators that are a promising alternative to the introduction of the bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) for use as pollinators of tomatoes in Australian greenhouses. The foraging behaviour of Amegilla chlorocyanea under greenhouse conditions was monitored in detail. Our results showed that female Amegilla are active foragers that make on average 9 pollen foraging flights per day. Using data about flower visitation, we estimated the number of actively nesting female bees needed for adequate pollination in a commercial greenhouse as 282 per hectare.

Key words: Amegilla / tomato / pollination / greenhouse / foraging / Anthophoridae

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© INRA, DIB-AGIB, EDP Sciences 2007