The foraging patterns of Osmia cornifrons (Radoszkowski) (Megachilidae, Hymenoptera) were determined with an immunomarking method and correlated with fruit set in a commercial tart cherry orchard in Pennsylvania. Adults of O. cornifrons were self-marked with chicken egg-white protein powder from a dispenser nest box placed at the center of the study orchard at early bloom. Flower samples were collected from randomly selected trees (n = 30) located at different distances from the nest box. Flowers were analyzed for the presence of immunomarker protein with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Foraging patterns were determined by measuring the distance and direction of marked flowers from the nest box. While marked flowers were found out to 55 m (maximum distance sampled), most marked flowers were found within 35 m from the nest and the percentage of marked flowers declined rapidly beyond that distance. Fruit density per limb cross-sectional area (cm2) in the study orchard was significantly higher than in the orchard without O. cornifrons, indicating the value of O. cornifrons as pollinators in increasing fruit yield in tart cherries.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science