Journal article

Do feral honey bees (Apis mellifera) and regent parrots (Polytelis anthopeplus) compete for nest sites?

OLDROYD B, LAWLER S, CROZIER R ...see all

Australian Journal of Ecology, vol. 19, issue 4 (1994) pp. 444-450

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Abstract

Surveys of nesting sites of feral honey bees (Apis mellifera) and regent parrots (Polytelis anthopeplus) were made in the red gutn/black box woodlands of Wyperfeld National Park, Victoria, Australia. Data on tree species and size, and number of hollows were collected from all trees within seven 500 x 100 m plots. Nest site characteristics were quantified for both bees and parrots. We found 27 feral honey bee colonies, suggesting a density of 77.1 colonies per km2. The average occupation rate for bees was 1.3% of trees and 0.7% of available hollows. The height, aspect and entrance characteristics of honey bee nests at Wyperfeld were not qualitatively different to those reported elsewhere. We found 15 pairs of nesting regent parrots. Nest sites chosen by these birds overlapped those chosen by honey bees, but 52% of bee nests were in cavities unsuitable for regent parrots. We suggest that honey bee population growth may be limited in the park by a lack of water.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Apis mellifera
  • Eucalyptus camaldulensis
  • Eucalyptus largiflorens
  • Polytelis anthopeplus
  • Victoria
  • competition
  • hollow
  • honey bee
  • nest site
  • regent parrot

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Authors

  • BENJAMIN P. OLDROYD

  • SUSAN H. LAWLER

  • ROSS H. CROZIER

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