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1023Styrofoam bowls/cups appear to greatly decrease catch of bees

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  • Sam Droege
    Apr 2, 2010
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      We have continued to test out long-term traps using glycol and one possibility was to use Styrofoam cups (Cheap, environmentally a bit greener).  Well after noticing that catch seemed subpar we tested cups vs our small bowls and the small bowls clearly caught more....we also tested for a glycol/ soapy water effect and found none.  My first thought was that the height of the cup was the problem, however, we just finished a test today with some surprising results (to me).  We sliced the Styrofoam cups down to the same size (Thanks for the idea Alex Surcica) and put them into the experiment below....results are very clear, but the interpretation is a bit fuzzy.  Bottomline...don't use Styrofoam.

      Location: Beltsville, MD
      Start
      : Noon April 1
      End
      : 9:30 a.m. April 2
      Habitat
      : Bottomland Mixed forest with many spring beauties (Claytonia) in bloom
      Bees
      : Osmia, Andrena, Nomada
      Experiment
      : 21 bowls each of 3.25 ounce white solo brand bowls and similar sized cut down Styrofoam cups, the two types were alternated in a transect through the woods and placed 5 m apart.

      Results below are Styrofoam in the left column and solo in the right column. They are presented as pairs, but in reality they are simply adjacent to one another (5m apart) in the transect. Numbers are total number of bees.

      Helping on the this experiment were Molly Passacantando and Lisa Guide (Many thanks).
      Styro
      Solo
      9
      18
      2
      3
      1
      8
      1
      7
      0
      4
      0
      5
      1
      6
      0
      8
      3
      2
      5
      12
      3
      8
      0
      5
      2
      15
      1
      11
      0
      17
      n/a
      15
      1
      3
      0
      10
      3
      19
      5
      21
      7
      18
      Totals
      44
      215



      Results are extremely clear. Styrofoam captures are much less. Totals are much lower and in adjacent bowls capture in Styrofoam is always lower.

      Not sure why, both are bright white....possibly bees can climb out of Styrofoam more easily, but no sign of soggy bees on or near the cups.


      sam

                                                     
      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

      Some Glad Morning

      One day, something very old
      happened again. The green
      came back to the branches,
      settling like leafy birds
      on the highest twigs;
      the ground broke open
      as dark as coffee beans.


      The clouds took up their
      positions in the deep stadium
      of the sky, gloving the
      bright orb of the sun
      before they pitched it
      over the horizon.


      It was as good as ever:
      the air was filled
      with the scent of lilac
      s and cherry blossoms
      sounded their long
      whistle down the track
      It was some glad morning.


      - Joyce Sutphen



      P Bees are not optional.
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