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Ground nesting bees and mulch

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  • Amy Alesch
    Hi, everyone- In the case of establishing native prairie plants sometimes it s necessary to mulch (we used black plastic mulch for our study) to keep weed
    Message 1 of 7 , Apr 8, 2013
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      Hi, everyone-

      In the case of establishing native prairie plants sometimes it's necessary to mulch (we used black plastic mulch for our study) to keep weed pressure from the establishing perennial plants (transplants, in our case). I was wondering if any of the group knows if there is any research on if or how mulching may affect groundnesting bee populations in the area...or anything in a similar vein of study.

      Thank you!

      Amy
    • Cane, Jim
      Amy- weed barrier and plastic mulch will prevent emergence and nesting by ground-nesting bees, so use it judiciously. Remember, they can fly in from elsewhere
      Message 2 of 7 , Apr 8, 2013
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        Amy- weed barrier and plastic mulch will prevent emergence and nesting by ground-nesting bees, so use it judiciously.  Remember, they can fly in from elsewhere too, so weed barrier around shrubs, for instance, still allows them to visit and nest nearby.

         

        Yours,

         

        Jim

         

        ===============================

        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

        email: Jim.Cane@... 

        web page: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab

        publications: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/piru/

        Gardening for Bees: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/plants-pollinators09.pdf

         





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      • Goodell, Karen
        Hi all, I advised a student at Ohio State Univ. who asked whether different sorts of mulches used in pumpkin production would inhibit ground nesting squash
        Message 3 of 7 , Apr 8, 2013
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          Hi all,
          I advised a student at Ohio State Univ. who asked whether different sorts of mulches used in pumpkin production would inhibit ground nesting squash bees. In a manuscript that she is about to submit this week, she reports that no bees nested in black plastic, but that they did make a limited number of nest holes in a shredded paper mulch. The emergence data will have to wait until this summer.

          Karen Goodell
        • <barbara.abraham@...>
          Karen, What about hardwood mulch or other kinds of mulch sold at garden centers? Barb Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D. Associate Professor SEEDS Ecology Chapter
          Message 4 of 7 , Apr 8, 2013
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            Karen,

             

            What about hardwood mulch or other kinds of mulch sold at garden centers?

             

            Barb

             

            Barbara J. Abraham, Ph.D.

            Associate Professor

            SEEDS Ecology Chapter Advisor

            Department of Biological Sciences

            Hampton University

            Hampton, VA  23668

            757-727-5283

            barbara.abraham@...

             

            From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Goodell, Karen
            Sent: Monday, April 08, 2013 12:24 PM
            To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Ground nesting bees and mulch

             

             

            Hi all,
            I advised a student at Ohio State Univ. who asked whether different sorts of mulches used in pumpkin production would inhibit ground nesting squash bees. In a manuscript that she is about to submit this week, she reports that no bees nested in black plastic, but that they did make a limited number of nest holes in a shredded paper mulch. The emergence data will have to wait until this summer.

            Karen Goodell

            The information contained in this message is intended only for the recipient, and may otherwise be privileged and confidential. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, or an employee or agent responsible for delivering this message to the intended recipient, please be aware that any dissemination or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, please immediately notify us by replying to the message and deleting it from your computer. This footnote also confirms that this email has been scanned for all viruses by the Hampton University Center for Information Technology Enterprise Systems service.
          • Julie Serences
            Try UCB Gordon Frankie s Web site for more info. At the California Native Plant Society
            Message 5 of 7 , Apr 8, 2013
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              Try  UCB  Gordon Frankie's Web site for more info.

              At the California Native Plant Society  Elderberry Farms Demo Garden in Rancho Cordova, CA -   they weed first, plant  and then underlay with newspapers and cover with a 4 inch coarse wood chip mulch.

              You get weed protection for the first year or so and with continued spot  weeding the natives take over. Newspapers decompose fairly rapidly.  I have observed native bees using paths to the soil underneath the mulch during the second season.  Weeding close  to the plants for a couple of years also leaves a weed seed free zone for ground  nesting bees that can be left undisturbed once the plants are established.



              Cheers,

              Julie Serences
              Audubon  at Home Coordinator, Sacramento Audubon Society
              Xerces Partner in Pollinator Conservation
              Board Member Sacramento Valley CNPS

              916-548-0618
               
              Bees are not optional


              On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Amy Alesch <aalesch@...> wrote:
               

              Hi, everyone-

              In the case of establishing native prairie plants sometimes it's necessary to mulch (we used black plastic mulch for our study) to keep weed pressure from the establishing perennial plants (transplants, in our case). I was wondering if any of the group knows if there is any research on if or how mulching may affect groundnesting bee populations in the area...or anything in a similar vein of study.

              Thank you!

              Amy


            • Jaime A. Florez
              Amy, One thing you should be aware is that black plastic will increase soil temperature incredibly. In fact, people use black plastic as a method of
              Message 6 of 7 , Apr 8, 2013
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                Amy,
                One thing you should be aware is that black plastic will increase soil temperature incredibly. In fact, people use black plastic as a method of soil disinfection (it's a cheap method but I don't know how efficient it is but it totally work at some level). Also, I know that with only 5 minutes - maybe less - after putting the black plastic on the ground, assuming full sun (and surely also with some clouds shading), you will burn the vegetation below. I saw how a piece of black plastic left the grass below totally yellow in that short time and after (taking the plastic off) some days it turned brown (dry and dead). So I would say putting a black plastic can potentially affect bees nesting superficially in the ground. And for that kind of effects you could check:

                Cane & Neff. Predicted fates of ground-nesting bees in soil heated by wildfire: Thermal tolerances of life stages and a survey of nesting depths. Biological Conservation 144 (2011) 2631–2636.

                I hope that's useful; good luck!
                 
                Jaime A. Florez
                PhD. student.
                Dept. Biology & Ecology Center
                Utah State University
                Logan, UT
              • Jack Neff
                Thick layers of newspaper, 4 of wood chips or plastic sheeting are all very unnatural ground covers so you shouldn t fool yourself as to whether or not they
                Message 7 of 7 , Apr 9, 2013
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                  Thick layers of newspaper, 4" of wood chips or plastic sheeting are all very unnatural ground covers so you shouldn't fool yourself as to whether or not they will have a negative affect on ground nesting bees  - they will.  However, bees don't need to nest adjacent to their floral hosts so if you have un-mulched areas somewhere in general vicinity all should be well.

                  best

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

                  From: Julie Serences <jpserences@...>
                  To: Amy Alesch <aalesch@...>
                  Cc: Bee United <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Monday, April 8, 2013 5:07 PM
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Ground nesting bees and mulch

                   
                  Try  UCB  Gordon Frankie's Web site for more info.

                  At the California Native Plant Society  Elderberry Farms Demo Garden in Rancho Cordova, CA -   they weed first, plant  and then underlay with newspapers and cover with a 4 inch coarse wood chip mulch.

                  You get weed protection for the first year or so and with continued spot  weeding the natives take over. Newspapers decompose fairly rapidly.  I have observed native bees using paths to the soil underneath the mulch during the second season.  Weeding close  to the plants for a couple of years also leaves a weed seed free zone for ground  nesting bees that can be left undisturbed once the plants are established.



                  Cheers,

                  Julie Serences
                  Audubon  at Home Coordinator, Sacramento Audubon Society
                  Xerces Partner in Pollinator Conservation
                  Board Member Sacramento Valley CNPS

                  916-548-0618
                   
                  Bees are not optional


                  On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:15 AM, Amy Alesch <aalesch@...> wrote:
                   
                  Hi, everyone-

                  In the case of establishing native prairie plants sometimes it's necessary to mulch (we used black plastic mulch for our study) to keep weed pressure from the establishing perennial plants (transplants, in our case). I was wondering if any of the group knows if there is any research on if or how mulching may affect groundnesting bee populations in the area...or anything in a similar vein of study.

                  Thank you!

                  Amy



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