Preferred nesting sites of bumblebee queens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in agroecosystems in the UK

Kells, Andrea R and Goulson, Dave (2003) Preferred nesting sites of bumblebee queens (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in agroecosystems in the UK. Biological Conservation, 109 (2). pp. 165-174. ISSN 0006-3207

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Bumblebees (Bombus spp.) have undergone a documented Europe-wide decline in recent years, mostly attributable to destruction of forage and nest sites caused by agricultural intensification. This study was set up to quantify species-specific nest-site preferences of observed UK species for various types of field and forest boundary habitat. In total, 1287 observations were made of seven common bumblebee species; nest-searching behaviour was taken as being indicative of nest site preference. There was interspecific variation in preferred habitat, with some species found to be much more specific in their choice of nest site than others. A strong association was found between those species that are known to prefer subterraneous nesting and those habitats that contained banks (Bombus terrestris, B. lapidarius and B. lucorum); other species were strongly associated with tussock-type vegetation (B. pascuorum, B. hortorum and B. ruderarius). In order to safeguard the continued existence of bumblebee species it is clear that a variety of field and forest boundary types need to be conserved; this has positive implications for the conservation of other species of flora and fauna associated with agroecosystems. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Life Sciences > Evolution, Behaviour and Environment
Depositing User: Catrina Hey
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 17:08
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2014 17:08
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