Study: Detroit vacant lots could be attractive to bumblebees

Posted at 7:41 AM, May 18, 2017

Bumblebees are buzzing over urban living in Detroit.

A study by University of Michigan students has found that the Motor City has higher bumblebee populations than some less urbanized communities.

The Ann Arbor school says researchers suspect that the tens of thousands of vacant lots and other underutilized land in Detroit could be providing nesting sites for bumblebees and flowering plants. Vacant lots also are mowed less frequently and are less likely to be treated with pesticides and herbicides.

The study was published online Wednesday.

Researchers also sampled bumblebees at nature reserves and urban farms and gardens in Dexter, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti and Dearborn.

More than 500 individual bumblebees from 10 species were identified at 30 sites. Handheld nets and insect traps were used to capture the bees.