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The two categories of behavior for C. pallida males are patrolling and hovering. These strategies are also used to find mates. In one category (the patrollers), male bees will patrol 3–6 centimeters above the ground in search of sites where buried virgin females will emerge. When a male bee finds such a site, he will dig 1–2 centimeters through the soil by gnawing at the surface with his jaws and using his forelegs to remove dirt from the excavation. If a female is found, he will attempt to mate with her either on the surface or at a nearby flower or tree. Other patrollers will sometimes attempt to steal a digging spot that another bee has found. If a bee has already found a female, another patroller bee may separate the male from the female so that it can copulate with the virgin. More often than not, the female (once found) will mate with either the male that found her or with an intruder.
Centris pallida serve numerous roles for the environment. Like most other bees, they are essential for pollination. Specifically, they pollinate cacti, desert willow, and palo verde. The tunneling ability of these bees aerates the soil, and this allows water from rain to reach plant roots quickly. Their nitrogen rich feces fertilizes the soil. Their stings are mild, so they are not dangerous. The only downside with respect to humans is that their burrowing can leave unsightly mounds. If an area has a large density of burrowing females, then these mounds can be quite noticeable and are difficult to get rid of.
A C. pallida female will find a spot for her nest. She will then dig diagonally down about 12 inches (30 cm). At the end of this tunnel, she will dig an 1 inch (2.5 cm) long vertical chamber where the egg will be laid. The chamber will be about 8 inches (20 cm) below the surface. In this chamber, the female will form a brood pot lined with wax. The brood pot will contain nectar and pollen similar to the bee bread in other bees; however, unlike other bees, the bee bread is the consistency of molasses instead of being solid. The egg is laid on top of the bee bread and sealed in with wax, and the tunnel is partially filled with dirt to protect the egg. A female can create several of the burrows during her lifetime.
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