Carpenter bees are the main pollinators of passion fruit, a crop classified as vulnerable to pollinator decline because it is strictly self-incompatible. We investigated cost-effective management strategies to increase the presence of female carpenter bees in passion fruit orchards by using trap-nests in bee shelters. Transfers of nests containing females of X. frontalis and X. grisescens between different sites were significantly more successful when the nests contained brood cells. Supplying a bee shelter with a combination of suitably sized empty bamboo stalks and active nests of carpenter bees can increase the population of actively nesting bees by >200% during the course of 23 mo, as a consequence of the emergence of brood from the introduced nests and the attraction of bees from the surroundings. In conclusion, our methods lead to improved success of introducing, increasing and maintaining carpenter bees populations for the pollination of passion fruit crops.
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