Wild bees respond differently to sampling traps with vanes of different colors and light reflectivity in a livestock pasture ecosystem

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Behavioral ecology, Biodiversity, ecology, population dynamics


Wild bees are important pollinators and monitoring their abundance and diversity is necessary to develop conservation protocols. It is imperative to understand differences in sampling efficiency among different trap types to help guide monitoring efforts. This study used a new vane trap design to collect bees in a livestock pasture ecosystem and examined the impact of six different vane colors on wild bee sampling. We recorded 2230 bees comprising 49 species and five families. The most abundant species were Augochlorella aurata (25.8%), Lasioglossum disparile (18.3%), Lasioglossum imitatum (10.85%), Agapostemon texanus (10.8%), Melissodes vernoniae (9.9%) and Halictus ligatus (4.7%). Traps with bright blue vanes captured the greatest number and diversity of bees as compared to traps with bright yellow, dark blue, dark yellow, and purple vanes. Red vanes had the lowest captures rates of individuals and species. Different colors were associated with different bee species arrays and only nine species were found in all vane color types. Vanes with higher light reflectance properties (within 400–600 nm range) attracted the greatest number of bees. These results show that different light wavelengths and reflectivity of vane traps influence bee capture rates, and such findings can help optimize bee sampling methods in different ecosystems.


This article was published with support from the Open Access Publishing Fund administered through the University of Arkansas Libraries.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.