Use of reed stem nest boxes by solitary bees and wasps near Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany
Steffan-Dewenter I. (2002) Landscape context affects trap-nesting bees, wasps, and their natural enemies. Ecological Entomology, 27, 631-637
The diversity of wild bees is declining in Europe and lack of forage resources and nest sites in intensive agricultural areas are suspected causes. This study monitored the uptake of reed stem nest boxes at sites with different landscape characteristics in intensively farmed land near Göttingen, Lower Saxony, Germany.
Nest boxes consisted of 150-180 internodal stem sections of common reed Phragmites australis, with diameters of 2-10 mm, cut 20 cm long and put in 10.5 cm diameter plastic tubes. Reed-filled tubes were attached to wooden posts 1 – 1.2 m above the ground, with four nest boxes to a post.
Eleven bee species, seven digger wasp species (Sphecidae) and six eumenid wasp species (Eumenidae) used the nest boxes, making 1,640 brood cells in total. The most abundant and widespread occupants were the red mason bee Osmia rufa, the common yellow face bee Hylaeus communis, and the wasps Trypoxylon figulus, T. medium and Symmorphus gracilis.