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Old 07-20-2017, 01:59 PM   #11
A Bee's Best Friend
 
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I took some pictures in the garden today even though it was very hot and steamy. Rained last night and this morning, then when the sun came out the temperature rose. Still I wanted to add these places where bumble bees might find a home. Please add your own spots. Brush piles, compost sites, old stems still standing, downed trees or branches decaying, sandy hillside, or where ever in your garden or local nature walk that you have seen natives bees around or think might be a good spot. I would like to see what is out there that we could all use as examples.

I'll start with these from our garden.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:46 PM   #12
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This article from 2011 might prove interesting.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0621151452.htm

Quote:
"We had suspected that the closer our collecting sites were to each other the more similar the bees communities we found would be -- but we were wrong," Grundel said. "In fact, mere physical proximity wasn't a very good predictor of how similar bee communities at different sites would be to each other. Instead, local factors -- and even the micro-habitats that we often ignore -- are really important in determining what kinds of bees use an area."
Because many native bees are ground- and cavity-nesters, the scientists weren't surprised to find that an abundant supply of dead wood, such as woody debris and dead tree limbs, was essential in determining what kinds of bees lived where. They were surprised, however, at how important other factors were, including bee preferences for specific soil characteristics and for areas that had burned in the previous two years.

Quote:
Bee abundance -- how many bees were captured at a site -- was lower in areas with a dense tree canopy and higher if a fire had occurred recently in the area. Bee diversity -- the number of different kinds of bees -- was higher in areas with less tree canopy, but with a higher diversity of flowering plants and an abundance of nesting resources, such as woody debris.
The presence of suitable nesting material was at least as important in determining how many types of bees might use a site as was diversity of plants, which provide nectar and pollen to the bees. The composition of an entire bee community was linked to higher plant variety, less canopy cover and soil characteristics that may be best-suited for nesting.
Journal Reference:
1. Ralph Grundel, Robert P. Jean, Krystalynn J. Frohnapple, Gary A. Glowacki, Peter E. Scott, Noel B. Pavlovic. Floral and nesting resources, habitat structure, and fire influence bee distribution across an open-forest gradient. Ecological Applications, 2010; 20 (6): 1678 DOI: 1. 10.1890/08-1792.1

United States Geological Survey. "Picky pollinators: Native U.S. bees are selective about where they live and feed." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110621151452.htm>.
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:13 PM   #13
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The following link is to a pdf put together by the USDA for growers but very informative if you are looking at ways to enhance native bee habitat.


https://www.plants.usda.gov/pollinat...ollinators.pdf


Quote:
All agroforestry plantings can provide excellent nesting opportunities for native bees. Therefore, the easiest approach to supporting native bees in a landscape is to look for potential nesting areas and then protect them as best as possible.

Specifically:

• Retain dead or dying trees and branches whenever it is safe and practical. Wood-boring beetle larvae often fill dead trees and branches with narrow tunnels into which tunnel-nesting bees will move. In addition, retain rotting logs where some bee species may burrow tunnels in which to nest.
• Protect sloped or well-drained ground sites where plants are sparse and direct access to soil is available. These are the areas where ground nesting bees may dig nests. Native bee nests have been found in orchards, front yards, along farm roads, and even in cultivated fields.
• Leave some areas of the farm untilled and minimize weed control tillage. Turning the soil destroys all ground nests that are present at that depth and hinders the emergence of bees that are nesting deeper in the ground.
• Protect grassy thickets, or other areas of dense, low cover from mowing or other disturbance. These are the sites where bumble bees might find the nest cavities they need, not to mention biennial or perennial forbs that can provide significant food resources (see Agroforestry Note 33: Improving forage for native bee crop pollinators).
• Plant shrubs or other plants that have pithy stems. Every year, cut back some of the new growth to expose the pithy interior of the stems. Elderberry, boxelder, blackberries or raspberries (Rubus spp.), sumac, or dogwood are all good choices.
Quote:
Solitary ground nesting bees The precise conditions – soil type, soil texture, degree of compaction and moisture retention – needed by most ground-nesting bees is not well known. However, the methods below could support a variety of species. Colonization of these nest sites will depend upon the bees already present in the area, their successful reproduction and population growth, and the suitability of other nearby sites.
• Wherever possible, avoid turning over soil. Bees need stable soil, and their progeny spend up to eleven months of the year underground. The more surface area left untilled, the more likely bees will find and colonize appropriate nest sites.
• Clear some of the vegetation from a gently sloping or flat area. The goal is to remove thatch, making it easier for bees to access the soil below but still leaving some clumps of grass or other low-growing plants to prevent erosion. The site should be well drained, in an open, sunny place, and, preferably, on a south-facing slope. Different ground conditions – from vertical banks to flat ground – will draw different bee species, so create a variety of partially bare patches and observe which ones best attract ground-nesting bees.
Bumble bees Studies indicate that bumble bees often occupy the grassy interface between open fields and hedgerows or woods. This has been attributed to the presence of abandoned rodent nests in which bumble bees nest. Areas of habitat suitable for bumble bees should include a mix of native grasses and forbs abutting shrubs or trees. The grass area needs to be at least five feet wide and mowed only every two or three years. Always mow in the late fall or winter, after the colonies have died for the year and when queens are dormant.
Quote:
Besides the basic nest structures or features needed by native bees, a few other resources are important for successful nesting.
• First, different bee species – particularly tunnel-nesting solitary bees – need various materials to construct their brood cells and seal their nests. A few bees secrete a cellophane-like substance to protect their brood cells, but most use gathered materials, such as pieces of leaf or flower petals, mud, fine pebbles, or tree resins. Most likely these materials are already present, but providing a diversity of native plants and protecting areas with damp clay will help.
• Second, bumble bee queens need protected sites in which to overwinter. These often occur in the soft humus, leaf litter, or other sites protected from extreme winter weather into which they can burrow
• Finally, a bee’s nest is a home base from which to scour the surrounding landscape for nectar and pollen. It is important to provide all of the nectar and pollen that bees need (see Agroforestry Note 33). The closer nest sites are located to pollen and nectar sources, the less energy female bees need to spend commuting back and forth, and the more resources they can put into their offspring. As a result, they will produce more offspring, and grow their populations over time. In addition, if nest sites are located close to abundant nectar and pollen (within 250 meters), the bees are less likely to forage where they may encounter insecticides or other hazards that are outside of a grower’s control.
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:43 PM   #14
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https://xerces.org/providing-nest-si...r-pollinators/
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