Non-Native Non-Apis Bees Are More Abundant on Non-Native Versus Native Flowering Woody Landscape Plants

Daniel A. Potter, Bernadette M. Mach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Urban ecosystems can support diverse communities of wild native bees. Because bloom times are conserved by geographic origin, incorporating some non-invasive non-native plants in urban landscapes can extend the flowering season and help support bees and other pollinators during periods when floral resources from native plants are limiting. A caveat, though, is the possibility that non-native plants might disproportionately host non-native, potentially invasive bee species. We tested that hypothesis by identifying all non-native bees among 11,275 total bees previously collected from 45 species of flowering woody landscape plants across 213 urban sites. Honey bees, Apis mellifera L., accounted for 22% of the total bees and 88.6% of the non-native bees in the collections. Six other non-native bee species, accounting for 2.86% of the total, were found on 16 non-native and 11 native woody plant species. Non-Apis non-native bees in total, and Osmia taurus Smith and Megachile sculpturalis (Smith), the two most abundant species, were significantly more abundant on non-native versus native plants. Planting of favored non-native hosts could potentially facilitate establishment and spread of non-Apis non-native bees in urban areas. Our host records may be useful for tracking those bees’ distribution in their introduced geographical ranges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was funded by USDA-NIFA-SCRI grant 2016-51181-235399 administered through IR4 Grant 2015-34383-23710, the Horticultural Research Institute, the University of Kentucky Nursery Research Endowment Fund, and USDA–NIFA Hatch Project no. 2351587000.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Apoidea
  • Invasive species
  • Megachile sculpturalis
  • Non-native plant
  • Osmia
  • Pollinator conservation
  • Urban landscape

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Insect Science

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