Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Creating Homes That Please America's Wild Bees

Date:
April 9, 2008
Source:
US Department of Agriculture
Summary:
Just like people who are looking for a perfect place to live, some female bees search for the ideal place to build their nests. Entomologists are discovering more about the "nesting cues" that influence wild bees' house-hunting decisions. It's information that may help entice more of the hardworking pollinators to take up residence in new, ready-to-occupy nesting structures that growers and beekeepers provide.

Studies of the blue orchard bee--shown here visiting an apple blossom--may reveal new ways to lure these proficient pollinators to live and work in orchards and fields.
Credit: Image courtesy T. L. Pitts-Singer

Just like people who are looking for a perfect place to live, some female bees search for the ideal place to build their nests.

Related Articles


Agricultural Research Service (ARS) entomologist Theresa L. Pitts-Singer is discovering more about the "nesting cues" that influence wild bees' house-hunting decisions. It's information that may help entice more of the hardworking pollinators to take up residence in new, ready-to-occupy nesting structures that growers and beekeepers provide.

Some bees like living in snug, dark recesses called "nesting cavities." These range from deep holes drilled into wooden boards, to bundles of cardboard tubes or hollow reeds. Growers and beekeepers place bee housing in orchards and fields where they need the bees to live and work.

Wild bees augment the work of the European honey bee, currently plagued by a puzzling problem known as colony collapse disorder. That's according to Pitts-Singer, with the ARS Pollinating Insect Biology, Management and Systematics Research Unit in Logan, Utah.

Scientists already know that female blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria) and certain other wild bees prefer to nest in cavities that other females of their species once occupied. That's problematical because old nests may be contaminated with disease-causing spores.

To find out what's making old nests alluring, Pitts-Singer is investigating components from the old homes, including old pollen, leaves, mud, and a fluid bees apply to cavity walls.

In one test, Pitts-Singer and colleagues used glass tubes to approximate drilled nesting holes, then collected the now-dry fluid that bees had left on walls. The scientists are using sophisticated laboratory instruments to glean some of the first-ever information about the chemical composition of the fluid.

Perhaps secreted by bees to differentiate one home from another, the fluid may also add to the overall appeal of a previously occupied nesting site. If that's the case, Pitts-Singer's investigations might lead to using synthetic versions of the fluid to make tomorrow's new nesting structures more inviting.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by US Department of Agriculture. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

US Department of Agriculture. "Creating Homes That Please America's Wild Bees." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080405092526.htm>.
US Department of Agriculture. (2008, April 9). Creating Homes That Please America's Wild Bees. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080405092526.htm
US Department of Agriculture. "Creating Homes That Please America's Wild Bees." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080405092526.htm (accessed March 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Bionic Ants Could Be Tomorrow's Factory Workers

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) Industrious 3D printed bionic ants working together could toil in the factories of the future, says German technology company Festo. The robotic insects cooperate and coordinate their actions and movements to achieve a common aim. Amy Pollock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Captive-Born Panda Triplets Are Eight Months Old

Captive-Born Panda Triplets Are Eight Months Old

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Mar. 30, 2015) The world&apos;s only surviving captivity-born panda triplets turn eight months old, according to China’s state media. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lions Make Surprise Comeback in Gabon

Lions Make Surprise Comeback in Gabon

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Lions have made a comeback in southeast Gabon, after disappearing for years, according to live footage from US wildlife organisation Panthera. Duration: 00:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ancient Egyptian Beer Making Vessels Discovered in Israel

Ancient Egyptian Beer Making Vessels Discovered in Israel

AFP (Mar. 30, 2015) Fragments of pottery used by Egyptians to make beer and dating back 5,000 years have been discovered on a building site in Tel Aviv, the Israeli Antiquities Authority said on Sunday. Duration: 00:51 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins