Behaviour and ecology of the subtropical carpenter bee, Xylocopa fenestrata F. 6. Foraging dynamics, crop hosts and pollination potential
R C Sihag
At subtropical Hisar, India, Xylocopa fenestrata started nest provisioning activity in late February/early March and continued through to November. Seasonal foraging behaviour was studied on various crops. This bee visited several cucurbit crops and faced wide seasonal variations in temperature ranges. The daily foraging activity of the bee changed from unimodal to bimodal as the ambient temperature increased. This activity of the bee coincided with the flower opening times of the cucurbit crops. The seasonal activity of X. fenestrata overlapped largely with the activity of Megaehile bieolor, Chalieodoma lanata and Apis florea, but only slightly with that of A. dorsata. The megachilid species foraged on entirely different crops, whereas A. dorsata was absent from summer crops. Crop hosts of X. fenestrata were shared by A. florea, which was more abundant. However, X. fenestrata had a significantly higher foraging rate (number of flowers visited/min) than A. florea.