Among the vast diversity of bees and wasps, there are some species that build their nests in narrow and hollow spaces. We know at least 60 species with this nesting habit in Japan. These species are called "trap-nesting bees and wasps," because they are very often attracted to nesting traps made of bamboo tubes or bundles of reeds. Bees and wasps in action
To raise their young, the bees collect pollen and nectar, while the wasps hunt insects or spiders from their surroundings. Species compositions of trap-nesting species thus are expected to vary depending on environments where nesting traps are installed. Natural enemies that invade the nests also reflect the environment. For these reasons, trap nests are widely used for various research and educational purposes.
This website lists the major species of trap-nesting bees and wasps in Japan, with photos of adults and nests. It also lists some of their natural enemies. However, species identification only using photos is often difficult, because these insects are usually small, and some are closely similar to each other. Besides, this site only covers a part of trap-nesters in Japan. Please make reference to identification manuals or books for a reliable identification.
We would like to express our gratitude to the people who gave or lent us some of the specimens used in this site, and to the National Museum of Nature and Science for allowing us to photograph their valuable specimens.
|Bees make nests with leaves, mud, or resin, and store pollen and nectar to raise young.||Stored prey of hunting wasps greatly vary among the species, as exemplified by the above photos.|