Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [beemonitoring] RE: bee boxes

Expand Messages
  • J. Scott MacIvor
    Hi All, I am in the middle of sorting and analyzing the contents of 200 nestboxes (PVC, 30 cardboard tubes, 3 widths) set out all over the city of Toronto in
    Message 1 of 11 , Jan 28, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi All,

      I am in the middle of sorting and analyzing the contents of 200 nestboxes (PVC, 30 cardboard tubes, 3 widths) set out all over the city of Toronto in over 90 private gardens, 30 green and conventional roofs, and many community gardens and parks from April to October 2011. This was the first of a planned four year partnership with many homeowners, gardeners, community groups and the city conservation authority as the principle sampling strategy in my PhD. 

      We set up, collect, and analyze the contents, then return the boxes to the same location each year. Every participant is given a .pdf of information on the bee and wasp species provisioned in their nestbox, their abundance, parasites, what they collect, and how to support their forage and nesting requirements.

      There is a website that is slowly coming together for the project (www.TObee.ca), QR codes on every box, and I've had the opportunity to give 10 talks about the project to all kinds of groups in and around the city in the last 8 months. Many participants have gone above and beyond their hosting duties and annual questionnaire to provide photographs and updates through out the year on activity around the nestbox. 

      Paul: Please feel free to contact me directly for photos, and a costing sheet I created for the nestbox design I build and use. A problem for most (not for my experimental design) is that when using cardboard or paper tubes one cannot visibly examine brood cells during the season - everything is analyzed at the end of the field season. This may hamper outreach activities, but having pinned specimens on hand, photographs of brood cells, and/or different nestbox designs on hand greatly enrich the experience for bee enthusiasts of all ages.

      Take care,


      On Thu, Jan 19, 2012 at 3:58 PM, Jack Neff <jlnatctmi@...> wrote:

      I find Tanglefoot works reasonably well to keep Crematogaster and Solenopsi out of bee and wasp domiciles. They are the main problem ants in my area, the former occupies and destroys all other nests in a domicile while the latter just raids.  At least in Texas you have to keep applying Tanglefoot as it crusts over, getting coated with dust and debris, and isn't much of a barrier after a while.  As a bonus, some Chelostomoides will collect the gunk to construct their nests.  One probably needs a mix of pithy stems and cavities to maximize the diversity of trap-nesters.  Many Megachile ignore pithy stems, at least if there is no initial boring, and other megachilids, like Hoplitis producta, insist on chewing their own burrows in pithy stems and ignore pre-existing cavities.


      John L. Neff Central Texas Melittological Institute 7307 Running Rope Austin,TX 78731 USA 512-345-7219

      From: "Walters, Denise" <Denise.Walters@...>
      To: Doug Yanega <dyanega@...>; "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:39 PM
      Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] RE: bee boxes

      We put in bee boxes several years ago and have found nothing in them but ants.  Any suggestions?
      Denise L. Walters, Ph.D.
      Principal Scientist
      Analytical Development,Global R&D
      Pfizer Consumer Healthcare
      P.O. Box 26609, Richmond VA 23261
      From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Doug Yanega
      Sent: Thursday, January 19, 2012 1:00 PM
      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [beemonitoring] RE: bee boxes
      The only thing I might add to Jim Cane's response is this: emphasize
      to people who are making trap nests to attract pollinators (and, to
      be honest, a lot of predatory wasps - discussion of which should
      always be included when talking to laymen about trap-nesting) to use
      a wide range of hole diameters.

      Unless one is trying to quantify and do statistics (in which case
      uniformity of diameter is essential), then the best way to promote a
      diversity of trap-nesting taxa is to diversify the hole diameters. A
      difference of less than a millimeter can be the difference for some
      of the smallest species between a hole that is too wide or too
      narrow, versus one that is perfect. This is one reason I like to
      suggest twigs that have pith; the would-be inhabitants get to
      construct their own burrows, allowing for a diversity of critters
      using a single type of substrate. I am not aware, however, of a handy
      reference list of common plants with pithy twigs that are suitable
      for such use - if no one has compiled such a list, this could be a
      worthwhile endeavor. My personal favorite is Hydrangea, and a good
      native plant here in SoCal is elderberry (there's a striking local
      Odynerus that evidently only nests in elderberry twigs). I seem to
      recall that back in NYC, Forsythia twigs also sometimes had bee nests
      in them.


      Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
      Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
      phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
      "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
      is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

      J. Scott MacIvor
      PhD. Candidate
      Biology Department
      York University
      Toronto ON
      M3J 1P3
      Mobile: (416) 844-8093

      Website: www.TObee.ca

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.