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20 April 2021 Consumer-Ready Insect Hotels: An Assessment of Arthropod Visitation and Nesting Success
B.A. Harris, E.M. Poole, S.K. Braman, S.V. Pennisi
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Abstract

Insect nesting boxes and hotels have the potential to provide shelter and overwintering sites for beneficial insect communities such as pollinating bees, wasps, earwigs, and other predatory arthropods. This study evaluated beneficial arthropod visitation to consumer-ready, commercially available nesting boxes over a 2-yr period. Insect hotels were placed on mature river birch (Betula nigra L.) and crape myrtle (Lagerstroemia indica L.) in garden plots established with floral resources for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Paper and thread-waisted wasps, soldier flies, predatory ants, and spiders were observed visiting the boxes. Boxes located in garden plot treatments (with floral resources) had the greatest numbers and diversity of pollinator and beneficial insect taxa compared to control plot treatments (naturalized areas away from floral resources) in 2016. Insect hotels placed on B. nigra had a higher number of thread-waisted wasps in 2016 and spiders and total beneficial insects in 2017. Higher numbers of predatory ants and total beneficial arthropods were found in boxes placed on L. indica in 2016. During the study, bamboo stems and drilled tunnels in the insect boxes were evaluated for arthropod inhabitance. Largest counts of occupied stems and tunnels were observed in boxes placed in proximity to floral resources and on L. indica trees.

B.A. Harris, E.M. Poole, S.K. Braman, and S.V. Pennisi "Consumer-Ready Insect Hotels: An Assessment of Arthropod Visitation and Nesting Success," Journal of Entomological Science 56(2), 141-155, (20 April 2021). https://doi.org/10.18474/0749-8004-56.2.141
Received: 8 April 2020; Accepted: 2 June 2020; Published: 20 April 2021
JOURNAL ARTICLE
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KEYWORDS
Biodiversity conservation
ecosystem services
insect hotels
pollinating arthropods
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