19 April, 2023

Different semi-natural habitat types provide complementary nesting resources for wild bees

 by Maxime Eeraerts, Rufus Isaacs
Mapping nesting ressources

Wild bees need adequate floral resources and nesting habitat to persist in agricultural landscapes. We have a good idea of where and when the floral resources can be found, as it is clear that different habitat types provide complementary sets of floral resources throughout the year. On the other hand, we have little knowledge about how different nesting resources are distributed across habitat types. Hence, in this study we mapped different types of nesting resources for wild bees across various semi-natural habitats in agricultural landscapes, i.e., forest edges, hollow roads, and tree rows. In general, the composition of nesting resources was variable among the studied habitat types. Additionally, certain nesting resources also showed a clear association with certain habitat types, e.g.,
hollow plant stems and dead wood were strongly associated with hollow roads. As such, our study highlights the importance of conserving diverse types of semi-natural habitat to maintain bee populations. Including other habitat types and studying the link between nesting resources and bee nesting activity are key topics for future research.