The alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (Megachilldae), does not pollinate kiwifruit, Actinidia deliciosa var. Deliciosa (Actinidiaceae)
B. J. Donovan And P. E. C. Read
The expected disruption to honeybee pollination of kiwifruit in New Zealand if new honeybee diseases or enemies become established, prompted an examination of the potential for exploiting the only 2 other fully manageable bee species in New Zealand, the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata, and the alkali bee, Nomia melanderi. Leafcutting bees were evaluated at 3 field sites under 3 management regimes, and in one cage test. Only 4 male bees were seen to visit kiwifruit flowers under normal field conditions. Bees caged with lucerne (alfalfa) and kiwifruit flowers foraged only on lucerne. Pollen of the colour of kiwifruit pollen collected by bees was entirely Lotus spp. Megachile rotundata is thus considered to have no potential for the pollination of kiwifruit.
leaf cutting bee, Meagchile rotundata, New Zealand, Pollination, Kiwifruit