Home Nesting behavior Nesting behavior of Anthophora plumipes
Nesting behavior of Anthophora plumipes PDF Print

Anthophora plumipes is a solitary spring species, which is commonly found throughout Europe. Females of this species occur in two types of coloration (common brown or more rare black) and they are robust and fast flying.

Anthophora plumipes

Females often nest in large aggregation and make their nests in the hard-packed soil in the ground or on vertical surface. Nesting behaviour consists of various behavioural components such as nest and cell founding and closing as well as building, provisioning, and protection but exact duration of this components and nesting cycle are not well known.
We individually marked all the females and their nests on the nesting site (Strahov, in the center of Prague, Czech Republic)  using permanent paint markers and observed them daily. Usurpation of nests or stores in the nests is very interesting type of parasitic behavior that occurs in many solitary nesting species of bees.

Marking of the nests

It was also investigated in A. plumipes because visiting of foreign nests is an everyday event. We found nesting parasitism in the form of usurpations of the nests. For the marking of underground chambers we used a new method of marking with lanthanides, which enabled better monitoring of interactions between females on the nesting site. We applied lanthanides using the pipette to pollen, which was on the leg of femaele returning to its nest. We found that females do not steal each other reserves of pollen in the nests.

Study of solitary gregarious species of bees like A. plumipes could be a key for understanding the emergence of eusociality in bees.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 January 2012 12:13