Free Access
Volume 35, Number 5, September-October 2004
Page(s) 469 - 479
Apidologie 35 (2004) 469-479
DOI: 10.1051/apido:2004035

Effect of pre-wintering and wintering temperature regimes on weight loss, survival, and emergence time in the mason bee Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae)

Jordi Boscha and William P. Kempb

a  Biology Department, Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322-5310, USA
b  USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Bee Biology and Systematics Laboratory, Logan, UT 84322-5310, USA

(Received 9 July 2003; revised 26 November 2003; accepted 4 January 2004)

Abstract - Osmia cornuta adults require exposure to wintering temperatures followed by incubation in the spring to emerge. We studied winter survival, weight loss, emergence time, and post-emergence longevity in O. cornuta exposed to a variety of pre-wintering and wintering treatments. Few bees emerged after exposure to wintering durations <30 days. Maximum survival and longevity were obtained with wintering durations of 90-150 days. Time to emergence following incubation declined with increasing wintering duration and increasing wintering temperature. Pre-wintering treatment had a dramatic effect on bee fitness. Bees pre-wintered for 15 days lost less weight, had higher survival and lived longer than bees pre-wintered for 45 or 75 days. In general, larger bees were more likely to survive the winter and lived longer than smaller bees. We discuss the relevance of these results to survival in wild O. cornuta populations and the management of populations used in orchard pollination.

Key words: Osmia cornuta / wintering temperature / body weight / orchard pollination

Corresponding author: Jordi Bosch

© INRA, EDP Sciences, DIB, AGIB 2004