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Alfalfa leafcutting bees at UC Riverside

March 29, 2015

A lot has happened since my last post. I started a new job and lab at UC Riverside, so we have moved once more and we hope to never move again! The lab is already up and running and we have lots of projects going on. I’m in the Entomology Department here at UCR and love it. If you are curious about the lab check out our new website here.

UC Riverside has a lot of experimental/agricultural land surrounding the campus, and one of the first things I did when I got here was to set up an alfalfa field so that I can raise alfalfa leafcutting bees for experiments. The alfalfa is now blooming and I have been releasing bees and am starting to get nesting activity. Here is a picture of one of our ALCBs foraging on alfalfa.

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And here is a male waiting for some females bees to come by the nest box.

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We placed the alfalfa field as far from the honey bee apiary as possible, but it is still well within foraging range, so there are lots of honey bees on the alfalfa too. They are not very efficient alfalfa pollinators compared to the ALCB, but there are enough of them around that they must be using up quite a bit of nectar and pollen. I am still getting ALCB nests, however, so the ALCBs are getting some of the bounty.

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I’ll post pictures of the ALCB nests next.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Jason permalink
    March 30, 2015 4:06 am

    Great pictures, Quinn!

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