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Living on the edge: the Large Scabious Mining-bee (Andrena hattorfiana) in the province of Vlaams-Brabant (Belgium)

The Large scabious mining bee (Andrena hattorfiana) is a solitary bee that forages exclusively on Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis). We conducted a directed search for this bee in the province of Vlaams-Brabant (Belgium) to determine its present occurrence, identify potential threats, and translate this into nature management practice.

This showed that Field Scabious generally occurs in small vulnerable stands along roadsides and field margins. The Large scabious mining bee was found on no more than 16 out of 96 investigated locations, grouped in six metapopulations. Three factors determined its occurrence: Field Scabious stand size, time of mowing and the degree of isolation. Field Scabious stands with more plants or situated closer to other stands with the Large scabious mining bee are more often inhabited by the bee. Mowing shortly before or during Field Scabious flowering is very negative. A rough estimation of local Large scabious mining bee numbers, the limited Field Scabious stand size and the apparent absence of its cleptoparasite Nomada armata suggest that the A. hattorfiana populations are very small. Targeted conservation efforts are urgently needed to ensure its continued survival in the province. Suitable management practices are presented and initiatives in this direction taken.

Contactpersoon: Pieter Vanormelingen

Actor(en): Natuurpunt Studie vzw

Locatie: Mechelen

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