Storage and incubation in the management of the alfalfa pollinating bee Megachile flavipes Spinola
R. P. Kapil and R. C. Sihag
Prepupae of the subtropical multivoltine bee, M, flavipes, were collected during late summer and stored for 270 days at 4°, 6°, 8°, 10° or 12°C, then incubated at 24°, 25.5°, 27°, 28.5°, 30° or 31.5° until the major or 'first-stock' emergence occurred. Mortality was highest (11-19%) at a storage temperature of 4° or 6°, lowest (5-7%) at 10° or 12° and intermediate at 8°. The main effect of incubation temperature was on the emergence pattern; exposure to one of the three highest temperatures generally led to a shorter mean incubation period and a smaller spread in the dates of emergence. The smallest spread (17 days) occurred at 28.5°, For management of M. flavipes for alfalfa pollination, storage at 8° followed by incubation at 28.5° was best, resulting in a moderate degree of mortality, a high percentage of individuals in the first-stock emergence, and a minimum spread in emergence dates.