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Insects 2017, 8(4), 107; doi:10.3390/insects8040107

Trap Nesting Wasps and Bees in Agriculture: A Comparison of Sown Wildflower and Fallow Plots in Florida

1
Steinmetz Hall, Department of Entomology and Nematology, University of Florida, Natural Area Dr., Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
2
Upland Habitat Research & Monitoring, Wildlife Research Laboratory, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI), 1105 SW Williston Road, Gainesville, FL 32601, USA
3
Wildlife International, Progress Park, Alachua, FL 32615, USA
4
McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Florida Museum of Natural History, 3215 Hull Road, P.O. Box 112710, Gainesville, FL 32611-2710, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrew G. S. Cuthbertson and Archie K. Murchie
Received: 18 September 2017 / Revised: 29 September 2017 / Accepted: 7 October 2017 / Published: 10 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Insect Monitoring and Trapping in Agricultural Systems)
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Abstract

Wildflower strip plantings in intensive agricultural systems have become a widespread tool for promoting pollination services and biological conservation because of their use by wasps and bees. Many of the trap-nesting wasps are important predators of common crop pests, and cavity-nesting bees that utilize trap-nests are important pollinators for native plants and many crops. The impact of wildflower strips on the nesting frequency of trap-nesting wasps or bees within localized areas has not been thoroughly investigated. Trap-nests made of bamboo reeds (Bambusa sp.) were placed adjacent to eight 0.1 ha wildflower plots and paired fallow areas (control plots) to determine if wildflower strips encourage the nesting of wasps and bees. From August 2014 to November 2015, occupied reeds were gathered and adults were collected as they emerged from the trap-nests. Treatment (wildflower or fallow plots) did not impact the number of occupied reeds or species richness of trap-nesting wasps using the occupied reeds. The wasps Pachodynerus erynnis, Euodynerus megaera, Parancistrocerus pedestris, and Isodontia spp. were the most common trap-nesting species collected. Less than 2% of the occupied reeds contained bees, and all were from the genus Megachile. The nesting wasp and bee species demonstrated preferences for reeds with certain inside diameters (IDs). The narrow range of ID preferences exhibited by each bee/wasp may provide opportunities to take advantage of their natural histories for biological control and/or pollination purposes. View Full-Text
Keywords: trap-nest; wildflower plots; Pachodynerus; Euodynerus; Isodontia; Megachile trap-nest; wildflower plots; Pachodynerus; Euodynerus; Isodontia; Megachile
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Campbell, J.W.; Smithers, C.; Irvin, A.; Kimmel, C.B.; Stanley-Stahr, C.; Daniels, J.C.; Ellis, J.D. Trap Nesting Wasps and Bees in Agriculture: A Comparison of Sown Wildflower and Fallow Plots in Florida. Insects 2017, 8, 107.

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