Institut für Biologie der Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg


Date of this Version


Document Type



Erforschung biologischer Ressourcen der Mongolei (2005) 9: 439-452.

Ergebnisse der Mongolisch-Deutschen Biologischen Expeditionen seit 1962, Nr. 259.


Copyright 2005, Martin-Luther-Universität. Used by permission.


The propagation of the alfalfa leaf-cutter bee, Megachile rotundata was tested from 1988 to 1991 on alfalfa seed growing fields at the Uvs-Nuur Basin in the North-West of Mongolia. We used the loose-cell technology in combination with wooden grooved boards (dimensions of the nesting holes: 8 × 110 mm). The climatic conditions at the investigation area proved to be favorable for the rearing of the bees. The average temperature was above 21 °C during 8.5 h by a mean sunshine duration of 6.4 h and sporadic rainfall. Nevertheless, the night temperatures felled below 10 °C and are responsible for a complete diapause induction. During the flying period of 4 to 5 weeks, which was determined by the flowering period of alfalfa, on average 10 cells have been constructed per female corresponding with a 3-fold increase of the cocoon amount per year. Only a few pests could be registered: A nest destroying Trichodes-species (Coleoptera: Cleridae) and the imagines parasitizing conopid fly Physocephala pusilla (Diptera: Conopidae). The conopid fly will cause problems for the rearing of M. rotundata in Mongolia due to its high abundance and difficulties in the control. However, M. rotundata can be successfully managed as a pollinator for alfalfa on selected cultivation areas in Mongolia.