Behaviour and ecology of the subtropical carpenter bee, Xylocopa fenestrata F. 7. Nest preferences and response to nest translocation
R C Sihag
In field trials at Hisar, India, Xylocopa fenestrate preferred to nest in hollow stems of Arundo sp.rather than in stems of castor (Ricinis communis) and completely rejected hollow stems ofbamboo. About 97% of the nesting beesoccupied tunnels with an internal diameter of10-12 mm and 80% nested in tunnels 23-30em long. Tunnels slanting downward at anangle of 15° to the horizontal assisted entry ofthe bees, but those slanting downward at 30°caused some of the pollen unloaded by provisioningbees to roll down out of the tunnel.Tunnels slanting upward at 15° and 30° hinderedthe entry of the bees and caused thedetaching of pollen loads from the hindlegs;horizontal tunnels did not hinder entry. Newlyemerged bees tended to occupy new tunnelsnear the original tunnel from where they hademerged, and occupied these tunnels for periodsfrom 35 to 375 days. When nests containingimmature stages were relocated, the adults which emerged established nests in the new areas, but adult bees taken to a new area didnot remain there. The results are discussed inrelation to the possible use of this species asa crop pollinator.