Chalkbrood Susceptibility Among Larvae of the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) Reared on Different Diets

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Bioassays were conducted to determine effects of diet on chalkbrood, a devastating mycosis of larvae of the alfalfa leafcutting bee, Megachile rotundata (F.). Bees reared in the laboratory on four sterilized diets were assayed for chalkbrood susceptibility, bee development, and survival. Bees reared on a pollen + pollen substitute diet had an LC50 of 138 spores per larva, the shortest time to death, the smallest cadaver size, and the most frequent sporulation. Uninfected larvae developed into normal adults. Bees reared on a pollen + sugars diet had the lowest LC50 (79 spores per larva), the longest time to death, and the lowest sporulation rate. On this diet, the development and survival of uninfected larvae were delayed, and only a few small adults emerged. Bees reared on a pollen + sugars diet with a higher pollen concentration had the highest LC50 (1,549 spores per larva). These bees also had delayed development and reduced survival to the adult sta!{e, but adults were of normal size. Bees reared on sterilized natural provisions had an intermediate LC50 (219 spores per larva), time to death, and sporulation rate, and the largest cadaver size. Development and survival rates for bees reared on this diet were similar to those obtained with bees reared on the pollen + pollen substitute diet, but adults were much larger than those reared on any other diet. Thus, diet factors that promote bee survival and growth are different from those that determine chalkbrood susceptibility.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 1, 1994

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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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