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Biology of the mason bee Osmia latreillei (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) under artificial nesting conditions in Egypt

Shebl, Mohamed A., Hassan, Hanan A., Kamel, Soliman M., Osman, Mohamed A.M., Engel, Michael S.
Journal of Asia-Pacific entomology 2018 v.21 no.3 pp. 754-759
Helianthus annuus, Osmia, conservation areas, crops, dominant species, habitats, natural enemies, nesting, pests, pollinators, polystyrenes, solitary bees, straw, univoltine habit, wasps, wood, Egypt
The mason bee Osmia (Helicosmia) latreillei Spinola is one of the dominant species of bees throughout Egypt, and can be found commonly in the Suez Canal Region. The species visits numerous plant species of the family Asteraceae and is considered the most important pollinator of certain crops such as sunflower. This species and some other solitary cavity nesting bees are threatened by fragmentation of their nesting habitats. Several attempts were made to establish and propagate O. latreillei, and success was achieved for re-nesting it in various artificial materials such as wood and polystyrene with rolled paper straws. These artificial nests were established at the conservation area of the Bee Research Centre, Suez Canal University, in order to study the nesting behavior and biology of O. latreillei under artificial conditions and to document their natural enemies. Biologically, there was no significance difference between the life cycle of O. latreillei under natural and artificial nesting conditions. This solitary bee was univoltine, individuals active only during Spring, and attacked by diverse enemies, with Stelis (Stelis) murina Pérez and chrysidid wasps considered the two most major pests of this wild bee species.