Centris pallida typically feed on flowers that can withstand the hot temperatures of its habitat. These plants include palo verde (Cercidium microphyllum and Cercidium floridium), ironwood (Olnyea tesota), and creosote bush (Larrea divaricata).[9] The palo verde pollen is the most common, and it gives the bee bread a strong orange color.[7] Due to the large expenditure of energy by males during hovering and/or patrolling, they must consume about 3.5 times their body weight in nectar each day.[10]
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Centris pallida are able to withstand very high internal temperatures when compared to other bees. Males regularly have thoracic temperatures of 48 to 49 degrees Celsius (118.4 to 120.2 degrees Fahrenheit). If the thoracic temperature reaches 51 to 52 degrees Celsius (123.8 to 125.6 degrees Fahrenheit), the bee will become paralyzed and die. Most of the cooling occurs when heat radiates off the abdomen. To prevent overheating, C. pallida have a very high thoracic conductance (rate of heat transfer from the thorax to the abdomen) which is 45 percent higher than that of sphinx moths of the same size. Other than this high thoracic conductance, no other mechanism has been found to help the bee reduce its internal temperature. C. pallida do not appear to have evaporative cooling in the wild as honey bees and bumblebees do.[10]

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