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Use of human-made nesting structures by wild bees in an urban environment

Abstract : Most bees display an array of strategies for building their nests, and the availability of nesting resources plays a significant role in organizing bee communities. Although urbanization can cause local species extinction, many bee species persist in urbanized areas. We studied the response of a bee community to winter-installed humanmade nesting structures (bee hotels and soil squares, i.e. 0.5 m deep holes filled with soil) in urbanized sites. We investigated the colonization pattern of these structures over two consecutive years to evaluate the effect of age and the type of substrates (e.g. logs, stems) provided on colonization. Overall, we collected 54 species. In the hotels, two gregarious species, Osmia bicornis L. and O. cornuta Latr. dominated the community (over 87 % of the data). Over 2 years, the age of the soil squares did not affect their level of colonization and the same was true for the hotels with respect to O. bicornis and ‘other species’. However, O. cornuta occurred less often and raised fewer descendants in 1-year old hotels than in new ones. Bee nesting was not affected by the soil texture and, among above-ground nesting bees, only O. bicornis showed a preference for some substrates, namely Acer sp. and Catalpa sp. In a context of increasing urbanization and declining bee populations, much attention has focused upon improving the floral resources available for bees, while little effort has been paid to nesting resources. Our results indicate that, in addition to floral availability, nesting resources should be taken into account in the development of urban green areas to promote a diverse bee community.
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https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02637308
Déposant : Migration Prodinra <>
Soumis le : mercredi 27 mai 2020 - 22:43:13
Dernière modification le : vendredi 12 juin 2020 - 10:43:26

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Laura Fortel, Mickaël Henry, Laurent Guilbaud, Hugues Mouret, Bernard Vaissière. Use of human-made nesting structures by wild bees in an urban environment. Journal of Insect Conservation, Springer Verlag, 2016, 20 (2), pp.239-253. ⟨10.1007/s10841-016-9857-y⟩. ⟨hal-02637308⟩

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