ACTIVITY PATTERNS OF FEMALES OF THE SOLITARY BEE ANTHOPHORA-PLUMIPES IN RELATION TO TEMPERATURE, NECTAR SUPPLIES AND BODY-SIZE

G N STONE, Graham Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

1. Patterns of activity at a large nesting aggregation and at foraging sites are described for females of the solitary bee Anthophora plumipes (Pallas). Changes in the quality and quantity of the resource collected by females provisioning cells are related to variation in female body mass and microclimate.

2. Activity at the nest site demonstrated relationships with aspects of the thermal environment experienced by A.plumipes. Measures of temperature showing significant relationships differed for females in different stages in the nesting cycle exhibiting characteristically different behaviour patterns.

3. Larger females emerged from nest tunnels earlier in the morning and provisioned cells at lower ambient temperatures than smaller individuals. Body size therefore predicts reproductive success at low ambient temperatures.

4. Pollen and nectar loads carried by females increased with ambient temperature. Because only one cell is completed per day and the size of offspring is determined by the quality and quantity of resource provided by the mother, the body size of individuals emerging in the following season will depend on interactions between climate and body size, in addition to any heritable component.

5. Variation in activity levels at foraging sites is attributed not only to thermal considerations, but also to variation in the quality of rewards available at different floral sources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-189
Number of pages13
JournalEcological entomology
Volume19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 1994

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