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Andrena semirugosa brassicae (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae) as a major small bee species in apple orchards in Japan


Wild small bees are known to visit apple flowers along with honeybees and other bees. However, their species composition in Japan has not been well investigated for more than 50 years. Here, we identified 791 wild small bee individuals captured in seven apple orchards in four prefectures. Andrena semirugosa brassicae (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae) was the predominant species visiting apple flowers in five orchards, although it had not been listed as a major visitor in past studies. This species was also the major visitor to dandelion flowers in the orchards. We deposited the sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (CO1) of 250 individuals (7 genera; 32 species) in DDBJ to support the genetic identification of small bees widely observed in apple orchards in Japan.

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This work was supported financially by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Japan, through a research project titled “Monitoring and enhancement of pollinators for crop production (JPJ006239).” We are grateful to the members of this project for capturing the bees. We thank Dr. Ryuki Murao (Regional Environmental Planning Co., Ltd.) for identifying 23 individuals and for his useful comments on the taxonomy of small bees. We thank Dr. Aoi Nikkeshi and Mr. Ryohei Hoshino (NARO) for his technical help.

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Correspondence to Tsunashi Kamo.

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Kamo, T., Funayama, K., Kishimoto, H. et al. Andrena semirugosa brassicae (Hymenoptera: Andrenidae) as a major small bee species in apple orchards in Japan. Appl Entomol Zool (2022).

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  • Andrena semirugosa brassicae
  • Apple
  • Pollinator