Journal of Insect Conservation

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 487–500 | Cite as

Diversity and abundance of solitary and primitively eusocial bees in an urban centre: a case study from Northampton (England)

  • Muzafar Hussain SirohiEmail author
  • Janet Jackson
  • Mike Edwards
  • Jeff Ollerton


The apparent reduction of solitary and primitively eusocial bees populations has remained a huge concern over the past few decades and urbanisation is considered as one of the factors affecting bees at different scales depending on bee guild. As urbanisation is increasing globally it necessitates more research to understand the complex community dynamics of solitary and primitively eusocial bees in urban settings. We investigated the urban core of a British town for diversity and abundance of solitary bees using standardized methods, and compared the results with nearby meadows and nature reserves. The study recorded 48 species within the town, about 22 % of the total species and 58 % of the genera of solitary bees in the United Kingdom. Furthermore we found the urban core to be more diverse and abundant in solitary and primitively eusocial bees compared to the meadows and nature reserves. Of particular note was an urban record of the nationally rare Red Data Book species Coelioxys quadridentata and its host Anthophora quadrimaculata. This research demonstrates that urban settings can contribute significantly to the conservation of solitary and primitively eusocial bees in Britain.


Biodiversity Solitary bees Pollinator decline Species richness Urbanisation Northampton 



We are grateful to all those who supported this study at any stage, particularly land owners, All Saints Church, St. Giles Church, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, New Testament Church, The Churches Conservation Trust (for access to St. Peter’s Church), Northampton and County Club, Northampton Borough Council, The Wildlife Trust BCN (for access to Bradlaugh Fields, Barnes Meadow, and Kingsthorpe Nature Reserve) and South Court Environmental (for access to Abington Meadow, Child First Orchard and Wilson’s Orchard). We would also like to thank the reviewers for their helpful comments and suggestions, and Dr. Hilary Erenler for advice about species identifications and bee biology.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muzafar Hussain Sirohi
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Janet Jackson
    • 1
  • Mike Edwards
    • 2
  • Jeff Ollerton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NorthamptonNorthamptonUK
  2. 2.MidhurstUK
  3. 3.Shah Abdul Latif UniversityKhairpurPakistan

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