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Colonization and reproductive biology of carpenter bees (Xylocopa frontalis) in a model of rational nesting box

Carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) are important pollinators, but rearing them for introduction in agricultural areas has been difficult because of their nesting behavior. Models of rational nesting boxes, which allow observing their interior, manipulating the nests and transporting them to the orchards, have not been accepted by the bees. The present work tested colonization and reproductive biology of carpenter bees in a model of nesting box suggested by FREITAS & OLIVEIRA (2001). Results showed 18.75 to 52.22% colonization by X. frontalis, with 3.0 to 4.7 nests founded per box. Architecture of the nests built in the rational rearing boxes was similar to that observed in wild nests, and the cycle from egg to adult took an average of 45.58 days. The offspring ratio male/female was 0.60 : 1.00. It is concluded that the model of rational nesting box tested is well accepted by X. frontalis and does not affect negatively the reproductive biology of this bee species.

carpenter bee; rational rearing; pollination; bee management

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