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‘Bee Hotels’ as Tools for Native Pollinator Conservation: A Premature Verdict?

Subject

Practical management, Pollinator population ecology

Subject detail

This study of nearly 600 bee hotels in Canada over 3 years. They found that introduced bee nested in 32.9% of sites and represented 47.1% of all individuals recorded. Native bees also used the sites but suffered a higher rate of parasitism than the introduced bees. They also found that native wasps occupied almost 3/4 of the sites showing that nests provide homes for many different types of native insect.

Author/lead

Scott MacIvor

Publication Source

PLOS ONE

Site category

Allotments, Parks, Private gardens, Public gardens, Rooftops

Type of content

Peer reviewed research paper

Year of Publication

2015


Methods

Data collection - ecological

Methods Detail

From May to October 2011–2013, 200 bee hotels were set up each year throughout the Toronto area (each bee hotel representing one ‘site’).

The bee hotels were made from 10cm-diameter, 28cm long white PVC piping, with a circular faceplate made of insulation board into which 30 cardboard nesting tubes (10 of each of three tube diameters; 3.4mm, 5.5mm, 7.6mm; all 15cm in length).

At the end of each field season, the bee hotels were collected, each cardboard tube opened and the brood cells placed in storage to overwinter. In April of the following year, brood cells were moved to a sealed incubation chamber until adult emergence and identification.

Recommendation

Resources for pollinators, Future studies

Recommendation Detail

More research is needed  on the potential pitfalls and benefits of using bee hotels in the conservation and population dynamics of wild native bees.

Location