Bumblebees Bombus spp. prefer underground or above ground nest boxes in woodland or woodland edge, in southwest Alberta, Canada

  • Published source details Richards K.W. (1978) Nest site selection by bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Southern Alberta. The Canadian Entomologist, 110, 301-318


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

Action Link
Bee Conservation
  1. Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

    A replicated trial carried out in 1970 and 1971 in southwestern Alberta, Canada, found that 23% and 43% of wooden nest boxes put out for bumblebees were occupied, in the respective years (Richards 1978). In total, 2,140 boxes were put out in a 1 km2 area, with equal numbers of underground, false underground, surface and above ground boxes. Upholsterer's cotton was added to each box as bedding. Fourteen different species of bumblebee Bombus sp. used the boxes. Preferred nest box locations were underground, buried 10 cm below the surface with a 30 cm plastic pipe to the entrance (38.5% occupied), and above ground, with the box wired to a tree trunk at chest height (38.7% occupied). False underground and surface nest boxes were also readily occupied (22.6% and 32.7% respectively).

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