Use of nesting blocks by sixteen species of solitary bee in tropical lowland rainforest at La Selva Biological Station, northeast Costa Rica
Thiele R. (2005) Phenology and nest site preferences of wood-nesting bees in a Neotropical lowland rain forest. Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment, 40, 39-48.
Many bee species rely on pre-existing cavities in dead wood or plant stems for nest sites. The availability of these nest sites can be augmented using nesting blocks with pre-drilled holes. This study demonstrates the use of nesting blocks (trap nests) by sixteen bee species in tropical lowland rainforest in Costa Rica.
24 hardwood nesting blocks were set out between August 1998 and July 1999. Each block was 70 x 4.5 x 10 cm, and had 80 drilled holes, 6.5–9 cm long, with 20 of each of four diameters (6.5, 8, 11 and 13 mm).
Sixteen bee species used the nesting blocks, of which six made more than ten nests over the study period. Of these, Centris analis (161 nests), C. bicornuta (58 nests), C. labrosa (57 nests) and Tetrapedia maura (47 nests) used only 6.5 and 8 mm holes. Centris vittata (77 nests) and Duckeanthidium thielei (33 nests) used only 11 and 13 mm holes.