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Foraging behavior and pollinating effectiveness of Osmia cornuta (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) and Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) on “Comice” pear

By Víctor H. Monzón, Jordi Bosch and Javier Retana


We studied the pollinating effectiveness of Osmia cornuta and Apis mellifera on ‘Comice’ pear. Osmia cornuta visited more flowers per minute (13.8) than A. mellifera (7.1–9.8). Both species visited similar numbers of flowers per tree (6.7–7.9), and switched rows with similar frequency (4.0–7.9%). Rate of stigma contact was 98.7% for O. cornuta, 51.8% for A. mellifera pollen-nectar foragers, and 19.0% for A. mellifera nectar foragers. Fruit-set in flowers visited once was 28.9, 29.3, and 12.9%, respectively. Seed-set was similar (7–8 seeds per fruit) in all three types of flowers. Osmia cornuta females provisioned their nests with 94.4% pear pollen. Stepwise multiple regression showed that fruitlet-set across the orchard was mostly related to tree size (trees with fewer flowers set more fruit per flower) ($\beta$ = –0.64; P < 0.001), whereas seed-set at harvest was best explained by O. cornuta ($\beta$ = 0.47; P < 0.005) and A. mellifera ($\beta$ = 0.35; P < 0.05) spatial distribution

Publisher: EDP Sciences
Year: 2004
DOI identifier: 10.1051/apido:2004055
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