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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Bumblebees of nine species Bombus sp. induced to start colonies in wooden nest boxes; laboratory experiments at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, USA

Published source details

Frison T.H. (1927) Experiments in rearing colonies of bumblebees (Bremidae) in artificial nests. Biological Bulletin of the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, 52, 51-67


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Rear declining bumblebees in captivity Bee Conservation

Frison (1927) induced nine different species of native North American bumblebee queens to lay eggs, by confining broody spring queens (already secreting wax) singly or in pairs, in wooden boxes in the dark. Fresh honeybee pollen and diluted honey solution were supplied. Colonies were reared to produce adult workers in 11 of the 46 trials between 1917 and 1920, including by the half-black bumblebee B. vagans, thought to be declining in the USA. Two other species reported to be declining: the yellow bumblebee B. fervidus and the yellow-banded bumblebee B. terricola were induced to lay eggs but did not rear colonies. The larvae died. No eggs were laid in two experiments with the American bumblebee B. pensylvanicus.