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Individual study: The occupation of artificial nests by the red mason bee Osmia rufa in southern England

Published source details

Free J.B. & Williams I.H. (1970) Preliminary investigations on the occupation of artificial nests by Osmia rufa L. (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Journal of Applied Ecology, 73, 559-566


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide nest boxes for bees (solitary bees or bumblebees) Farmland Conservation

A replicated study in 1966-1969 from 20 sites in southern England found (Free & Williams 1970) red mason bees Osmia rufa readily occupied artificial nest boxes comprising metal food cans filled with drinking straws (straw diameter 5-7 mm). In the first year of the trial, 349 cans were recovered, of these 44 (13%) had one or more straws occupied by a red mason bee nest. Over the following two years, there was a tendency by this species to reoccupy cans. Osmia caerulescens and species of Megachile also occupied the cans. In March 1966, 398 cans were distributed across sites in eight counties, 349 cans were recovered in September. In 1967, 1968 and 1969 cans were again placed at several of the sites. Cans were attached to tree branches and fence posts 1-2 m above the ground. The open end of each can faced east or south and was tilted slightly downwards from the horizontal to prevent rain entering.

 

Provide artificial nest sites for solitary bees Bee Conservation

Red mason bees Osmia rufa readily occupied artificial nest boxes comprising metal food cans filled with drinking straws (straw diameter 5-7 mm; Free & Williams 1970). In the first year of a trial, 349 cans were recovered from 20 sites in southern England; of these 44 (13%) had one or more straws occupied by a red mason bee nest. Over the following two years, there was a tendency by this species to reoccupy cans. Osmia caerulescens and species of Megachile also occupied the cans.