Predation at the nesting site can significantly affect solitary bees’ reproductive success. We tested female red mason bees’ (Osmia bicornis L.) acceptance of potential nesting sites, some of which were marked with cues coming from predated conspecifics (crushed bees) or from a predator itself (rodent excreta). In our experiment, females did not avoid nests marked with either of the two predator cues. We suggest that bee females do not recognize these two cues as risky. Alternatively, costs of abandoning natal aggregation might be too high compared with any perceived predation risk of staying. Moreover, the presence of crushed bees can provide positive information about the presence of conspecifics and, possibly, information about a nesting aggregation that may be preferred by bees when choosing a nesting site.
Journal of Insect Behavior – Springer Journals
Published: Jun 24, 2017
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