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Food-Gathering Behaviour of Honey, Bumble, and Leaf-Cutter Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) in Alberta1

  • G. A. Hobbs (a1), W. O. Nummi (a1) and J. F. Virostek (a1)


In the prairie region of Western Canada certain species of bumble bees are the principal pollinators of red clover, Trifolium pratense L. (Hobbs, 1957). Certain bumble and leaf-cutter bees are the only effective pollinators of alfalfa, Medicago sativa L., in Western Canada (Hobbs and Lilly, 1954; Hobbs, 1956; Peck and Bolton, 1946; Stephen, 1955). Unfortunately, bumble and leaf-cutter bees are seldom very abundant.



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Bohart, G. E. 1957. Pollination of alfalfa and red clover. Ann. Rev. Ent. 2: 355380.
Forster, I. W., and Hadfield, W. V.. 1958. Effectiveness of honey bees and bumble bees in the pollination of Montgomery red clover. New Zealand J. Agr. Res. 1: 607619.
Graenicher, S. 1910. New Zealand's experience with the red clover and bumble bees. Bull. Wisconsin Natl. Hist. Soc. 8: 166169.
Hobbs, G. A., and Lilly, C. E.. 1954. Ecology of species of Megachile Latreille in the mixed prairie region of southern Alberta with special reference to pollination of alfalfa. Ecology 35: 553562.
Hobbs, G. A. 1956. Ecology of the leaf-cutter bee Megachile perihirta Ckll. (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) in relation to production of alfalfa seed. Canadian Ent. 88: 625631.
Hobbs, G. A. 1957. Alfalfa and red clover as sources of nectar and pollen for honey, bumble, and leaf-cutter bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Canadian Ent. 89: 230235.
Knuth, P.Handbook of flower pollination. Vol. 1. 1906. Translated by Davis, J. R. Ainsworth. University Press, Oxford.
Parker, R. I. 1926. The collection and utilization of pollen by the honeybee. Cornell Univ. Agr. Expt. Sta. Mem. 98.
Peck, O., and Bolton, J. L.. 1946. Alfalfa seed production in northern Saskatchewan as affected by bees, with a report on means of increasing the populations of native bees. Sci. Agr. 26: 388418.
Sladen, F. W. L. 1912. The bumble-bee, its life-history and how to domesticate it. Macmillan and Co., London.
Stephen, W. P. 1955. Alfalfa pollination in Manitoba. J. Econ. Ent. 48: 543548.

Food-Gathering Behaviour of Honey, Bumble, and Leaf-Cutter Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) in Alberta1

  • G. A. Hobbs (a1), W. O. Nummi (a1) and J. F. Virostek (a1)


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