Urban domestic gardens (II): experimental tests of methods for increasing biodiversity

  • Published source details Gaston K.J., Smith R.M., Thompson K. & Warren P.H. (2005) Urban domestic gardens (II): experimental tests of methods for increasing biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 395-413.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide artificial nest sites for bumblebees

Action Link
Bee Conservation

Provide artificial nest sites for solitary bees

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

    During a three‐year study in Sheffield, UK, no artificial nest chambers of any design (above ground terracotta plant pots, buried terracotta plant pots with entrance holes at the top (no pipe) and wooden boxes) were occupied by bumblebees Bombus spp. (Gaston et al. 2005). Between 52 and 72 nest boxes were put out each year, in 20 domestic gardens.

  2. Provide artificial nest sites for solitary bees

    Three types of nest box were placed in 20 urban gardens in Sheffield, UK, from 2000‐2002. They were occupied by two bee species – Hylaeus communis (10 gardens) and Osmia rufa (two gardens). The most frequently used were those constructed of 20 cm lengths of bamboo stem in plastic pipe, and 4 mm or 6 mm diameter holes drilled into wooden blocks, with uptake in over 50% of gardens over three years (Gaston et al. 2005). Tin cans filled with paper drinking straws (4‐6 mm diameter) and 8‐10 mm holes drilled in wood were less well‐used.


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