Propagation of the leaf-cutter bee for alfalfa seed production
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Propagation of the leaf-cutter bee for alfalfa seed production by W. P. Stephen

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Published by Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore .
Written in English


  • Alfalfa leafcutting bee.

Book details:

Edition Notes

Cover title.

Statement[William P. Stephen].
SeriesStation bulletin / Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University -- 586., Station bulletin (Oregon State University. Agricultural Experiment Station) -- 586.
The Physical Object
Pagination16 p. :
Number of Pages16
ID Numbers
Open LibraryOL18163291M

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  According to Bob Mennie, production manager of Mennie Bee Farms Inc., near Parkside, Sask., leafcutter bees are “easy to handle and tend to stay close to where the shelters are.” Managing the bees. Bees are put out into the field when the alfalfa has five to 10 per cent bloom, to ensure that the bees have food. This usually happens around July 1.   Leafcutter bees, common pollinators for alfalfa seed in the Pacific Northwest and for hybrid canola in Canada, have put some growers back in the alfalfa seed business. “We grew alfalfa seed in and and didn’t do well,” said John Diener, a Five Points grower who resumed growing the seed seven years ago because of the added pollination efficiency of the leafcutter bees. “Alfalfa Seed and Leafcutter Production in Saskatchewan”. Saskatchewan Agriculture and Food, Soils, and Crops Branch Bulletin (March ). Peterson, Stephen S., Craig A. Baird, and Ron M. Bitner. “Current status of the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, as a pollinator of alfalfa seed”. Bee Science 2(3)   A leaf-cutter bee has a six- to eight-week lifespan and is responsible for the pollination of alfalfa blooms. About 55 percent of the larvae emerge as females, and only female bees do the work of pollination. Leaf-cutter bees are cavity-nesters, and to facilitate nesting, producers create “bee boards” by drilling 4- to 6-inch holes in a thick, laminated wooden block and stacking several of the boards in .

Most alfalfa seed producers have observed second generation adults emerging from capped nesting boxes in storage prior to stripping, 50 to 70 days from the initial release, as well as pupae in various stages of development in their bee cell samples. Whether many bees have emerged previously and have been left in the field is hard to determine. Alfalfa yields like other crops can be affected by disease to varying extents depending on the year and the use of fungicides is recommended as it tends to increase seed yield. Pollination- Alfalfa requires leafcutter bees to pollinate the crop in order to set seed. Leafcutter bees generally go out on the onset of bloom usually around July 1.   I used to live in eastern Washington State and the leaf cutter bees are very necessary to their alfalfa hay seed production. An interesting tidbit is that the leaf cutter bees are better pollinators of alfalfa than honeybees. They dig right in and let the alfalfa bloom smack them in the face and the honeybee doesn't like the face full of pollen.   This is our crop of leaf cutter bees being "punched" out of the bee boards. We didn't have a conveyor belt to lift the bees into the cell breaker so we used buckets. The cell breaker is a .

  Megachile rotundata (or the alfalfa leafcutter bee) is a species native to Eurasia that was introduced into the United States after the ’s because of a drop in seed production. This bee was brought into the US to increase pollination yields of Alfalfa for seed because honey bees are not the best pollinators of the crop. In the 's when commercial scale populations of alfalfa leafcutter bees (ALBs) became available, alfalfa seed production improved dramatically. Currently, Canada produces 4 billion ALB's per year which are used to service domestic and international alfalfa seed . Since the s, it has become increasingly difficult for U.S. alfalfa seed producers to maintain Megachile rotundata (F.) populations used for alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., pollination. The leaf cutter bee, Megachile rotundata, has been recognized as an important alfalfa pollinator since and many growers who have propagated the bee have substantially increased seed yields. Because these bees do not dig their own, nest holes must be provided. Nest holes vary from 3 to 6 inches deep. Bees lay an egg in.