RE: [beemonitoring] groundnesting bee reuse of emergence holes
Things can get complicated.
Quite a few bees overwinter beneath the natal nest in hibernacula that are extensions of the natal nest.
When these bees burrow up to the surface the following spring they may well be going through parts of what was the previous year's nest.
If they use parts of this as their own nest the following year, this might be considered as re-using the original nest.
In reality, I suspect that it would be rather rare for a daughter female to somehow find herself occupying much of the nest burrow from the year before.
However, this behaviour does help explain the microscale nest clustering that is commonly observed.
That said, Doug's work on the ruddy driveway bee has demonstrated a remarkable "homing" accuracy even when females overwinter away from the natal nest aggregation.
Endlessly fascinating these little creatures.
--- On Mon, 1/9/12, Cane, Jim <Jim.Cane@...> wrote:
From: Cane, Jim <Jim.Cane@...>
Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] groundnesting bee reuse of emergence holes
To: "Jack Neff" <jlnatctmi@...>, "Doug Yanega" <dyanega@...>, "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
Received: Monday, January 9, 2012, 7:45 PM
Folks- something that can resemble reuse of ground nests is females adopting emergence holes of the season, rather than starting a nest hole from scratch. It is especially common to see with the many thousands of Nomia melanderi in their big aggregations. I can send a pdf if you like.
James H. Cane
USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA
tel: 435-797-3879 FAX: 435-797-0461
web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab