Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Biology - (Ph.D.)


Federated Department of Biological Sciences

First Advisor

Daniel E. Bunker

Second Advisor

Karen Goodell

Third Advisor

Claus Holzapfel

Fourth Advisor

Gareth J. Russell

Fifth Advisor

Kimberly N. Russell

Sixth Advisor

Jessica Lee Ware


Bees are important pollinators, critical for the continued survival of plants in both natural and agricultural ecosystems. Diverse bee communities have been shown to increase richness in plant communities and plant reproduction depends upon bee community richness. Yet there is growing concern that pollinators, especially bees, are declining globally. This dissertation focuses on evaluating the mechanisms responsible for bee community composition in order to promote bee conservation in natural systems and their restoration in human-dominated urban and agricultural landscapes.

Bee populations are impacted directly by three things: floral resources, nesting resources and risk, primarily from natural enemies. Bees are indirectly affected by abiotic factors, like climate, that influence both their behavior and the resources available. Relationships between bees and their floral resources have received the most attention, providing evidence of floral resources structuring bee communities and controlling bee population dynamics. The first investigation described in this dissertation determines the universality of this relationship through a meta-analysis of the effects of plant community composition on bee community composition.

The second and third investigations described in this dissertation focus on the management of two species of cavity nesting bees, Osmia cornifrons and O. taurus, in terms of their utilization of artificial nesting substrate (Chapter 3) and the influence of temperature on their emergence timing (Chapter 4). This information is useful whether they need to be managed for their pollination services or to reduce their impacts as non-native species. The overall aim of this dissertation work is to promote bee restoration and conservation by adding to the understanding of the roles of both direct and indirect controls on bee community composition.

Included in

Biology Commons



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