The Bee Fauna of Coastal Napatree Point and Two Inland Sites in Southern Rhode Island

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We surveyed the bee fauna at Napatree Point, a coastal barrier beach in southwestern Rhode Island, using bee-bowl and netting samples, and compared results to bee-bowl samples at 2 inland sites. We collected a total of 53 species and morphospecies at Napatree Point, including 5 likely Rhode Island state records and several coastal dune and sand-nesting species that were not found inland. The comparative bee-bowl samples (colored bowls with soapy water placed at the sites to collect visiting bees) captured 35 species at Napatree Point and 66 at the inland sites (which included 6 likely state records, 2 shared with Napatree). The Napatree fauna shared numerous species with the inland sites, but overall species composition differed substantially. Both Napatree and inland sites showed greatest bee activity and species richness in spring. During spring, the most common bees at Napatree were twig- and cavity-nesting species such as Ceratina dupla and Osmia simillima, and the wood-nesting Lasioglossum oblongum, while the most abundant bees inland were the soil-nesting Andrena nasonii and Augochlorella aurata. Netting samples differed from bee-bowl samples in that they captured larger species and species foraging at flowers distant from the bee-bowl transects, but they missed several diminutive species that were captured by bee bowls. Use of 2 sampling methods, therefore, provided a broader view of the bee fauna than would have been possible with a single collection method.

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Northeastern Naturalist