Four indicators of productivity and quality for the alfalfa leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata (Fab.), were examined over a 3-year period and the influence of different shelter designs, nesting materials, and 34 environmental variables evaluated. A higher percentage of cocoons per total cells was produced in polystyrene nesting material than in pinewood nesting material. Both nesting materials had similar percentages of tunnels capped or containing cells and total numbers of cells per hive. Shelters with conspicuous orientation patterns or silhouettes had more tunnels capped per hive, tunnels with cells, and greater total cell production per hive than did other shelter designs. The time of maximum bee production varied greatly among the 3 years. Many environmental variables, especially those associated with higher temperature, heat units, and mean actual temperature, had a significant positive effect on bee productivity and cell quality. The information contained in this study may help delineate those climatic areas where this valuable alfalfa pollinator can be most effective, and may assist beekeepers in making management decisions that will improve their operations.