Breeding mason bees for the pollination of fruit orchards in Central Europe
Martin Šlachta, Alena Votavová, Tomáš Erban, Ondřej Cudlín, Pavel Cudlín
published online: 26. 06. 2022
Solitary bees pollinate wild plants and crops. In the temperate zone, they mainly pollinate fruit trees. Most species nest in the soil, but mason bees nest in wooden cavities above ground. Their presence in orchards can be augmented by provision of artificial nesting sites. Two species of mason bees frequently use these artificial nesting opportunities in Central Europe. The red mason bee (Osmia bicornis) is the most common species in this region, which preferentially collects pollen from oak trees. The European orchard bee (Osmia cornuta) prefers pollen from fruit trees, but it is more thermophilic. Its spread to higher altitudes can be expected in response to climate change. A breeding technology based on detachable wooden nests is summarized in this paper based on a literature review and experimental experience in fruit orchards in Czechia.
keywords: artificial nesting sites; climate change; fruit orchards; mason bees; pollination
Breeding mason bees for the pollination of fruit orchards in Central Europe is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.