Leafcutter Bees (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) as Pollinators of Pigeon Pea (Cajanus cajan (L.) Millsp., Fabaceae): Artificial Trap Nests as a strategy for their conservation
Keywords:conservation, Megachile, pollination, pod set, trap nests
Solitary bees of the family Megachilidae are the key pollinators of pigeon pea. Artificial trap nests were used to study nesting parameters, such as occupancy rate, nest establishment time, and building pattern during the vegetative and flowering stages of the Cajanus cajan (Fabaceae). The installed traps were occupied by three different leafcutter bees (Megachile lanata, M. laticeps, M. disjuncta) and one parasitic bee Coelioxys sp. Bees occupied the nest tubes for 16.01 ± 2.82 and 10.23 ± 2.30 days in the vegetative and flowering stages. We recorded 38.33 and 72.50% trap occupancy rates during crop vegetative and flowering stages, respectively. The percent parasitization by Melittobia sp was significantly higher during the vegetative stage (53.67%). Brood cells were parasitized by Coelioxys sp (6.67%) during the flowering stage. Many female bees tend to occupy trap nests with active nest construction during the flowering stage (7.21 ± 2.28 bees). In contrast, male bees merely took shelter inside the traps during the vegetative stage. Thus, it is concluded that female bees possess more wing wear during the vegetative stage of the crop when compared to the flowering stage. We also observed a significant increase in the percent pod set, the number of seeds per pod, and 100 seed weight in the experimental plot compared to the control plot, proving the importance of leafcutter bees for the pollination of Cajanus cajan crop. The present study results confirmed the role of artificial trap nests in providing habitats for the solitary leafcutter bees, thereby increasing their activity and nest abundance, which favors the pollination and better yield in pigeon pea.
Abrol, D.P. & Shankar, U. (2015). Role of pollination in pulses. Advances in Pollen Spore Research, 33: 101-103.
Amala, U., Shivalingaswamy, T.M. & Veeresh Kumar. (2017).
An unusual nesting site by leafcutter bee Megachile (Aethomegachile) laticeps Smith. Journal of the Kansas Entomological Society, 90: 77-81.
Amala, U., Shivalingaswamy, T.M., Veeresh Kumar & Pratheepa, M. (2019). Pruned petioles of papaya as nesting sites of the leafcutting bee, Megachile laticeps Smith and its pollen fidelity. Journal of Apicultural Research, 58: 660-664. doi: 10.1080/00218839.2019.1644940.
Batra, S.W.T. (1984). Solitary Bees. Scientific American, 250: 120-127.
Bohart, G.E. (1972). Management of wild bees for the pollination of crops. Annual Review of Entomology, 17: 287-312.
Bosch, J. & Kemp, W.P. (2002). Developing and establishing bee species as crop pollinators: the example of Osmia sp. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and fruit trees. Bulletin of Entomological Research, 92: 3-16. doi: 10.1079/BER 2001139.
Buschini, M.L.T. (2006). Species diversity and community structure in trap-nesting bees in Southern Brazil. Apidologie, 37: 58-66. doi: 10.1051/apido:2005059.
Chaudhary, J.P. & Jain, J.L. (1978). Nesting and foraging behaviour of a mason bee, Megachile lanata Lepel (Megachilidae: Hymenoptera). Indian Journal of Entomology, 40: 405-411.
Ercit, K. (2014). Size and sex of cricket prey predict capture by a sphecid wasp. Ecological Entomology, 39: 195-202. doi: 10.1111/een.12083.
Fairey, D.T., Lefkovitch, L.P. & Lieverse, J.A.C. (1989). The leaf cutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.): a potential pollinator for red clover. Journal of Applied Entomology, 107: 52-57. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0418.1989.tb00227.x.
Foster, D.J. & Cartar, R.V. (2010). Wing wear affects wing use and choice of floral density in foraging bumble bees. Behavioral Ecology, 22: 52-59.doi: 10.1093/beheco/arq160.
Franceschinelli, E.V., Elias, M.A.S., Bergamini, L.L., Neto, C.M.S. & Sujii, E.R. 2017. Influence of landscape context on the abundance of native bee pollinators in tomato crops in Central Brazil. Journal of Insect Conservation, 21: 715-726. doi: 10.1007/s10841-017-0015-y.
Gathmann, A., Greiler, H.J. & Tscharntke, T. (1994). Trap nesting bees and wasps colonizing set-aside fields: succession and body size, management by cutting and sowing. Oecologia, 98: 8-14. doi: 10.1007/BF00326084.
Gathmann, A. & Tscharntke, T. (2002). Foraging ranges of solitary bees. Journal of Animal Ecology, 71: 757-764.
Greenleaf, S.S., Williams, N.M., Winfree, R. & Kremen, C. (2007). Bee foraging ranges and their relationship to body size. Oecologia, 153: 589-596. doi: 10.1007/s00442-007-0752-9.
Gruber, B., Eckel, K., Everaars, J. & Dormann, C.F. (2011). On managing the red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) in apple orchards. Apidologie, 42: 564-576. doi: 10.1007/s13592-011-0059-z.
Joshi, N.K., Naithani, K. & Biddinger, D.J. (2020). Nest modification protects immature stages of the Japanese orchard bee (Osmia cornifrons) from invasion of a Cleptoparasitic mite pest. Insects, 11: 65. doi: 10.3390/insects11010065.
Junqueira, C.N., Hogendoorn, K. & Augusto, S.C. (2012). The use of trap-nests to manage carpenter bees (Hymenoptera:Apidae: Xylocopini), Pollinators of Passion Fruit (Passifloraceae: Passiflora edulis f. flavicarpa). Annals of Entomological Society of America, 105: 884-889.
Junqueira, C.N., Yamamoto, M., Oliverira, P.E., Hogendoorn, K. & Augusto, S.C. (2013). Nest management increases pollinator density in passion fruit orchards. Apidologie, 44: 729-737. doi: 10.1007/s13592-013-0219-4.
Litman, J.R., Danforth, B.N., Eardley, C.D., Praz, C.J. (2011). Why do leafcutter bees cut leaves? New insights into the early evolution of bees. Proceedings of Royal Society of London B, 278: 3593-3600. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2011.0365.
Maeta, Y. & Kitamura, T. (1974). How to manage the Mameko bee (Osmia cornifrons Radoszkowski) for pollination of fruit crops. Tokyo: Ask Co Ltd. 16pp.
Maclvor, J.S. (2016). DNA barcoding to identify leaf preference of leaf cutting bees. Royal Society of Open Science, 3: 150623. doi: 10.1098/rsos.150623.
Michener, C. D. (2007). The bees of the World, 2nd edn. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
Mueller, U.G., & Mueller, B.W. (1993). A method for estimating the age of bees: age- dependent wing wear and coloration in the wool-carder bee Anthidium manicatum (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Journal of Insect Behaviour, 6: 529-536.
Murray, T.E., Kuhlmann, M. & Potts, S.G. (2009). Conservation ecology of bees: populations, species and communities. Apidologie, 40: 211-236. doi: 10.1051/apido/ 2009015.
Neeman, G., Shaltiel, S.L. & Shmida, A. (2006). Foraging by male and female solitary bees with implications for pollination. Journal of Insect Behaviour, 19: 383-401.
Neill, K.M.O., Delphia, C.M. & Pitts Singer, T.L. (2015). Seasonal trends in the condition of nesting females of a solitary bee: wing wear, lipid content, and oocyte size. Peer Journal, 3: 930. doi: 10.7717/peerj.930.
Peterson, J.H. & Roitberg, B.D. (2006). Impacts of flight distance on sex ratio and resource allocation to offspring in the leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, 59: 589-596. doi: 10.1007/s00265-005-0085-9.
Peterson, J.H., Hoffmeister, T.S. & Roitberg, B.D. (2016). Variation in maternal solitary bee nest defence related to nest state. Apidologie, 47: 90-100. doi: 10.1007/s13592-015-0378-6.
Phillips, J.K. & Klostermeyer, E.C. (1978). Nesting behavior of Osmia lignaria propinqua Cresson (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Journal of Kansas Entomological Society, 5: 91-108.
Pielou, E.C. (1966). The measurement of diversity in different types of biological collections. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 13: 131-144.
Pitts-Singer, T.L. & Cane, J.H. (2011). The alfalfa leaf cutting bee, Megachile rotundata: the world’s most intensively managed solitary bee. Annual Review of Entomology, 56: 221-237. doi: 10.1146/annurev-ento-120709-144836.
Rehan, S. & Richards, M.H. (2010). The influence of maternal quality on brood sex allocation in the small carpenter bee, Ceratina calcarata. Ethology, 116: 876-887. doi: 10.1111/ j.1439-0310.2010.01804.x.
Roubik, D.W. & Villanueva-Gutierrez, R. (2009). Invasive Africanized honey bee impact on native solitary bees: a pollen resource and trap nest analysis. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 98: 152-160. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01275.x.
Raw, A. (2004). Ambivalence over Megachile. Pages 175-184 in Freitas, B.M. and Pereira, J.O.P., eds. Solitary bees: conservation, rearing and management for pollination. International Workshop on Solitary Bees and Their Role in Pollination, April 2004, Federal University of Ceara, Brazil.
Sabino, W.D.O., Antonini, Y. (2017). Nest architecture, life cycle, and natural enemies of the neotropical leafcutting bee Megachile (Moureapis) maculata (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in a montane forest. Apidologie, 48: 450-460. Doi: 10.1007/s13592-016-0488-9
Scheper, J., Holzschuh, A., Kuussaari, M., Potts, S.G. Rundlof, M., Smith, H.G. & Kleijn, D. (2013). Environmental factors driving the effectiveness of European agri-environmental measures in mitigating pollinator loss – a meta-analysis. Ecology Letters, 16: 912-920. doi: 10.1111/ele.12128.
Shannon, C.E. & Wiener, W. (1949). The mathematical theory of communication. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.
Singh, A.K. (2016). Pollinating efficiency of native bee pollinators of pigeon pea (Cajanus cajan) in Nagaland. Russian Journal of Ecology, 47: 310-314. doi: 10.1134/S1067413616030127.
Veeresh Kumar, Belavadi, V.V. & Gupta, A. (2015). Parasitisation of leafcutter bees (Megachilidae: Apoidea) by Melittobia species. Entomon, 40: 103-110.
Villemey, A., Jeusset, A., Vargac, M., Bertheau, Y., Coulon, A., Touroult, J., Vanpeene, S., Castagneyrol, B., Jactel, H. & Witte, I. (2018). Can linear transportation infrastructure verges constitute a habitat and/or a corridor for insects in temperate landscapes? A systematic review. Environmental Evidence, 7: 5. doi: 10.1186/s13750-018-0117-3.
Wcislo, W.T. & Cane, J.H. (1996). Floral resource utilization by solitary bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) and exploitation of their stored foods by natural enemies. Annual Review of Entomology, 41: 257-286. doi: 10.1146/annurev.en.41.0101 96.001353.
Westrich, P. (1996). Habitat requirements of Central European bees and problems of partial habitats. The conservation of bees (eds A. Matheson, S.L. Buchmann, C. O’Toole, P. Westrich & I.H. Williams), pp. 1-16. Academic Press, London.
How to Cite
Copyright (c) 2022 AMALA UDAYAKUMAR, T M Shivalingaswamy
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Sociobiology is a diamond open access journal which means that all content is freely available without charge to the user or his/her institution. Users are allowed to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of the articles in this journal without asking prior permission from the publisher or the author. This is in accordance with the BOAI definition of open access.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).