Utilizacion de Megachile Rotundata Fab. En la Polinizacion de la Alfalfa
Establishing leaf-cutting bees (Megachile rotundata Fab.) as specific pollinators of alfalfa has been shown to have successful prospects in Chile since 1963. Aspects of insect management, population dynamics, and their relationship with alfalfa seed yield were determined after massive introduction in 1971. For winter management, suitable methods were used for storing dispausing larvae, cold storing, incubation, and controlling natural enemies. Field management, field domiciles and emergence chambers provided with excluders were used for controlling natural enemies and avoiding nesting in previously used material. Fluctuations in population dynamics were found in four localities. Differences in population increases were influenced by food source availability, nesting material, natural enemies, and the use of chemicals. Yields of sectors pollinated by M. rotundata were higher than those from sectors pollinated by Apis mellifera (L.) .