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bee bowls in July

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  • barbara.abraham@hamptonu.edu
    All, I am using bee bowls and direct capture to study native bees on Salt Pond Mtn. in western Virginia. In May and early June the bowls captured many more
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 19, 2011
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      All,
       
      I am using bee bowls and direct capture to study native bees on Salt Pond Mtn. in western Virginia. In May and early June the bowls captured many more bees, then the numbers tapered off. This week I collected only one bee (a Lasioglossum) in 30 traps set out for 24 hours. The same thing happened last year, although I was gone by July 10.
       
      The folks here at Mtn. Lake Biol. Station think it is due to there being more blooming plants at this time of year making the bowls less attractive. Certainly I have been seeing more bumblebee workers than in May and early June, and perhaps more Megachilidae, but I don't have a feeling about the Andrenidae and Halictidae.
       
      Any thoughts?
       
      Thanks!
       
      Barb
       
       
      Barbara J Abraham, PhD
      Associate Professor of Biology
      SEEDS Chapter Advisor
      Department of Biological Sciences
      Hampton University
      Hampton, VA 23668
      757-727-5283

       
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    • Matthew McKinney
      Hi Barb, I have had a similar experience. At the WVU organic farm I put out approx. 40 bee bowls around buckwheat and pumpkin plots and collected only 12 bees
      Message 2 of 2 , Jul 19, 2011
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        Hi Barb,

        I have had a similar experience. At the WVU organic farm I put out
        approx. 40 bee bowls around buckwheat and pumpkin plots and collected
        only 12 bees in 48 hours. This is despite the fact that I could have
        swung my net one time in the buckwheat and collected the same amount
        of bees (they were extremely abundant)!

        I also noticed last month in a meadow I was surveying that I collected
        more bees when I placed the bowls in a very exposed area than when I
        placed bowls near flowering plants. I collected the most bees in bowls
        that were set in old tire tracks in the middle of the meadow. I think
        that bee bowls may do better when they are not in close proximity to
        flowering plants, but there are so many variables that may impact bee
        bowl effectiveness that it is very hard to determine.

        For example, I think bee nesting location relative to bowl and flower
        location may have some effect on bee capture, and there is certainly
        an effect based on bowl color, visibility, and (as was recently
        posted) height of the bee bowl.

        -Matt
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