Methods for rearing ground-nesting bees under laboratory conditions

Ryan J. Leonard, Alexandra N. Harmon-Threatt

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Ground-nesting bees are largely undervalued, both in terms of their use as model species for behavioural studies, and in terms of their agricultural benefit as pollinators in crop systems. But, why? One potential barrier limiting their use as model species may be our understanding of how to effectively establish and maintain ground-nesting bees in the laboratory. Here we review how artificial nests are used to study ground-nesting bees and provide guidelines for building, starting and maintaining artificial nests. Ultimately, appropriate design and maintenance of artificial nests will allow researchers to explore a suite of interesting questions related to this important group of pollinating insects, from natural history to the origins of eusociality and the effects of environmental contaminants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-703
Number of pages15
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • artificial nest
  • ground-nesting bee
  • Lasioglossum
  • rearing

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