An Assessment of the Efficacy and Peak Catch Rates of Emergence Tents for Measuring Bee Nesting

Alexander M. Pane, Alexandra N. Harmon-Threatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


• Premise of the study: Emergence tents are a new tool used to understand nesting ecology of ground nesting bee species. However, many questions remain about how to use tents effectively. We assessed (a) variance in tent capture rates over time, (b) the effects of site characteristics on proportion of tents capturing bees, and (c) the effect of soil characteristics on nest site choice. • Methods: Emergence tents were placed out for one week in May, June, and August and checked daily. Soil, bee, and floral characteristics were recorded. • Results: Across all sites and months the average number of tents capturing bees was less than 20% during one week of sampling, but this varied between sites. Tent captures decreased after 48 h deployment, but accumulation differed seasonally, with slower accumulation of total bees caught in May than in June or August. Although capture rates were not affected by bee or floral abundance, soil moisture beneath a tent influenced where bees were captured. • Discussion: Effective use of emergence tents may require adjusting the length of deployment depending on season and will require a minimum of 48 h installation to help maximize efficacy. The overall low capture rates demonstrate the need to optimize emergence tent use.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1700007
JournalApplications in Plant Sciences
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2017


  • bees
  • emergence tents
  • ground nesting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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