Crop Pollination by Bees by Keith S. Delaplane Daniel F. Mayer

By Keith S. Delaplane Daniel F. Mayer

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This ability to regulate sex of offspring is important in solitary tunnelnesting bees because they tend to lay male eggs near the nest entrance so males can precede the females in spring emergence. For social species it is important to time male production according to seasonal food availability. The adult stage of bees is dedicated to dispersal and reproduction. Bees do this with a variety of life strategies and nesting habits, ranging from solitary to social, from simple burrows to elaborate comb nests.

Transgenic insect resistance is seen to have numerous advantages over conventional insecticides. , 1998). But there has been concern that engineered toxins, whether in the plant’s tissues or in its nectar and pollen, could be detrimental to bees. Fortunately, that risk seems small at this time. A sizeable research record has shown that B. thuringiensis toxins, whether conventional or engineered, are generally benign to bees (Poppy, 1998). The risk from other candidate engineered toxins, namely the pesticidal proteins chitinase, ␤-1,3glucanase, and cowpea trypsin inhibitor (CpTI), likewise seems small as shown by honey bee toxicity studies performed by Picard-Nizou et al.

1). Individual bees start life as a single egg laid by their mother. After a few days the egg hatches into a larva (plural larvae) which is a grub-like, rapidly-growing feeding stage. As they grow, larvae shed their skin several times by a process called moulting to advance to the next larger stage, or instar. Eggs are laid and larvae develop in cells varying in complexity, ranging from hexagonal beeswax cells to simple dead-ends in earthen tunnels. The mother or siblings provision each larval cell with food.

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