Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Need Wild Bees? Plastic Totes Make A Superb Bee 'Nursery'

Date:
April 6, 2009
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Corrugated plastic bins like the kind sold for handling mail and packages can be quickly and easily converted into a durable "nursery" for wild bees, according to a research entomologist.

Drawing of nesting shelter for some wild bee species. Corrugated plastic totes can be converted into convenient nesting shelters for several wild bee species. Nesting materials encased in milk cartons (lower right) can be stacked in the tote for female bees to use as homes for a new generation of pollinators.
Credit: Drawing courtesy of Ellen M. Klomps, ARS

Corrugated plastic bins like the kind sold for handling mail and packages can be quickly and easily converted into a durable "nursery" for wild bees, according to an Agricultural Research Service (ARS) research entomologist.

Related Articles


James H. Cane, with the agency's Pollinating Insects Biology, Management and Systematics Research Unit in Logan, Utah, says that female wild bees will readily use a properly placed, suitably furnished tote as a shelter for their nests. Turned on their long side, the totes can be held firmly in place on a wooden or metal post by means of a lightweight steel chain and a customized metal support frame.

Cane came up with the idea of using corrugated plastic totes—available from suppliers of mail and package handling equipment—as nesting shelters, and has tested them during spring and summer in California, Oregon, Wyoming and Utah. His experiments show that the lightweight, rectangular bins, each 23-1/2 inches long by 15-1/2 inches wide by 15-1/2 inches high, serve as a sturdy, inexpensive and reusable shelter for protecting bee nests against wind and rain.

Growers, professional and hobbyist beekeepers, and backyard gardeners who want wild bees to live near and work in their fields, orchards, vineyards or home gardens can use the totes to house nesting materials, such as five-sixteenths-inch diameter paper drinking straws enclosed in cardboard tubes and stuffed inside empty cardboard milk cartons. Wild female bees such as the blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria, can use the straws as homes for a new generation of pollinators.

Wild bees are needed now, perhaps more than ever, to help with jobs usually handled by America's premier pollinator, the European honey bee, Apis mellifera. Many of the nation's honey bee colonies have been decimated by the puzzling colony collapse disorder or weakened by varroa and tracheal mites or the microbes that cause diseases such as chalkbrood and foulbrood.

A single corrugated plastic tote can accommodate as many as 3,000 young, enough to pollinate one-half to one-acre of orchard. And, unlike bulky or stationary shelters, the tote houses can easily be moved from one site to the next.

Corporate collaborator Quiedan Co., of Salinas, Calif., helped design and now sells the support frame and mounting plate unit.

Cane published the shelter research for the first time in a July 2006 article in American Bee Journal. The totes are now being used in California and for Cane's own research in Oregon.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Need Wild Bees? Plastic Totes Make A Superb Bee 'Nursery'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090328152243.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2009, April 6). Need Wild Bees? Plastic Totes Make A Superb Bee 'Nursery'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090328152243.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Need Wild Bees? Plastic Totes Make A Superb Bee 'Nursery'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090328152243.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
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