Behaviour and life history of a large carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica) in the northern extent of its range
Prager, Sean Michael.
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Large carpenter bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Xylocopa) have traditionally been thought of as exhibiting solitary or occasionally communal colony social organization. However, studies have demonstrated more complex fonns of social behaviour in this genus. In this document, I examine elements ofbehaviour and life history in a North American species at the northern extreme of its range. Xylocopa virginica was found to be socially polymorphic with both solitary and meta-social or semi-social nests in the same population. In social nests, there is no apparent benefit from additional females which do not perfonn significant work or guarding. I found that the timing of life-history events varies between years, yet foraging effort only differed in the coldest and wettest year of2004 the study. Finally, I that male X virginica exhibit female defence polygyny, with resident and satellite males. Resident males maintain their territories through greater aggression relative to satellites.