Unscented color traps for non-Apis bees (Hymenoptera: Apiformes)

William P. Stephen, Sujaya Rao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

111 Scopus citations


Asian ladybug (semitransparent blue) and Japanese beetle (semitransparent yellow) insect traps (Springstar™) were tested for their utility in studies on bee diversity. The unscented traps were placed at four diverse ecological sites in Oregon in 2004 for approximately 48 hr and catches identified. Trap vanes were highly UV-A and UV-B reflective. The bee catch was diverse with a total of 369 bees, in 17 genera in five families. Bee captures were consistent with bee fauna at each site during the test periods. The semitransparent blue yielded an average of 17.3 bees/trap/day and the yellow 5.75 bees/trap/ day. Bombus spp. made up 62.1% of all the bees captured, followed by the halictines (23.8%). It was surprising that Apis was virtually absent from all traps in all zones even though they were abundant in the immediate proximity of each trap. The current study is the first one in which colored traps captured sizeable numbers of bees: 1) in the absence of a pheromone or other attractant; 2) over a short time period of time (48 hr); and, 3) in a selective manner. These studies suggest that a modified SpringStar™ semitransparent blue trap may be a valuable tool in future studies on bee diversity, distribution, seasonal abundance, and bee foraging behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Kansas Entomological Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Bee diversity
  • Bee trapping
  • UV reflective traps
  • Unscented bee traps


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