The carpenter bee Xylocopa pubescens as an agricultural pollinator in greenhouses

Adi Sadeh, Avi Shmida, Tamar Keasar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many greenhouse crops depend on bees for pollination. Global declines of honeybee populations, and their limited efficiency in pollinating some greenhouse food-plants, motivate the search for additional pollinators. We evaluated the carpenter bee X. pubescens, a local species to Israel, as a pollinator of greenhouse-grown honeydew melons, in comparison to honeybees. We recorded the bees' daily and seasonal activity patterns in relation to floral nectar levels, frequencies and durations of flower visits, and fruit quantity and quality. The bees' daily foraging schedule on melon did not correlate with nectar yield and nectar production patterns by the flowers. Visit durations per flower were shorter for X. pubescens than for honeybees. Pollination by both bees resulted in similar fruit mass and seed numbers, but X. pubescens pollination increased fruit set threefold as compared to honeybee pollination. We conclude that X. pubescens can effectively pollinate melons in enclosures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-517
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Carpenter bee
  • Greenhouse
  • Honeybee
  • Honeydew melon
  • Pollination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science


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