Evelyn D. Fetridge, John S. Ascher, Gail A. Langellotto; The Bee Fauna of Residential Gardens in a Suburb of New York City (Hymenoptera: Apoidea). Ann Entomol Soc Am 2008; 101 (6): 1067-1077. doi: 10.1603/0013-8746-101.6.1067
As suburban landscapes expand, it is critical to understand their capacity to support wildlife. Pollinators, specifically bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila), are to some degree compatible with urbanization and may be able to exist in suburbs in diverse assemblages. We surveyed 21 residential gardens for bees in Westchester County, a suburban area immediately north of New York City. From a sample of 1,675 individuals, we documented 110 species, of which 95% were native, 50% were solitary, and 93% were polylectic. In terms of abundance of specimens, eusocial (50% of specimens), native (97%), and polylectic (98%) bees were dominant. Contrary to our expectation, based on previous bee surveys in urban landscapes, the bee community documented was not depauperate in either soil-nesting or parasitic species (65 and 19% of species, respectively), nor was it enriched in exotic species (6% of species). Instead, the assemblage resembled the richer bee fauna documented at a 1,520-ha research preserve (forest) located in the same region, although certain specialist (oligolectic) and/or forest-associated species were absent. These results suggest that suburban landscapes in eastern North America have the potential to host relatively diverse and intact bee communities.