Plastic is pervasive across ecosystems, with polystyrene being a common plastic synthetic material used in buildings. Although polystyrene is used in hive construction for European honeybees and managed megachilids, cavity-nesting colletids have never been documented to nest in such materials. Here, observations of the solitary native bee Hylaeus (Euprosopoides) ruficeps kalamundae mass-nesting in polystyrene insulation boards in a house in Darlington, Western Australia, are reported. This represents the first instance of a Hylaeus species nesting in polystyrene. The abundance of individuals nesting in this material over successive years suggests this behaviour is not detrimental to the fitness of this species; however, experimental studies comparing fitness between polystyrene and natural materials are required. These observations contribute to the recognition that anthropogenic materials are increasingly being used by wild animals.
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I would like to thank J. Brain for contacting me and allowing me to make the observations of the nesting activity of these bees at his property. I would also like to thank the reviewers for their constructive feedback.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Note scientifique : nidification en masse d'une abeille indigène Hylaeus (euprosopoides) ruficeps kalamundae (Cockerell, 1915) (Hymenoptera : Colletidae : Hylaeinae) dans le polystyrène.
abeilles / plastique / flexibilité adaptative / nidification.
Eine wissenschaftliche Notiz zum massenhaften Nestbau der einheimischen Biene Hylaeus (euprosopoides) ruficeps kalamundae (Cockerell, 1915) (Hymenoptera: Colletidae: Hylaeinae) in Polystyren.
Bienen / Plastik / Hyalaeine / adaptive Flexibilität / Nestbau.
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Prendergast, K.S. Scientific note: mass-nesting of a native bee Hylaeus (Euprosopoides) ruficeps kalamundae (Cockerell, 1915) (Hymenoptera: Colletidae: Hylaeinae) in polystyrene. Apidologie (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13592-019-00722-8
- adaptive flexibility