Bee responses to anthropogenic disturbances have received much recent attention in scientific literature. These studies typically involve 1–3 years of sampling along spatial gradients of disturbance, though occasionally greater temporal replication and/or longer time periods are used at the expense of spatial replication. We surveyed bees using a blue vane trap during spring, summer and autumn from 2008 to 2017 at one location in Canberra, Australia. To the best of our knowledge, this is the longest near-continuous record of bee activity in the southern hemisphere. We use these data to describe the temporal dynamics of the bee community, which was characterised by high annual variability in overall abundance, richness and composition and a negative correlation between spring rainfall and bee activity. The phenologies of abundant species are also described. Our findings relate only to our study site but are similar to findings from other long-term studies conducted in the northern hemisphere, which collectively present a picture of high natural variability in bee communities that must be considered when interpreting findings of bee responses to anthropogenic disturbances.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to acknowledge several technicians who helped clear the bee trap over the years. These include Kim Pullen, Melissa Piper and Patrick Gleeson. An Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development fellowship to S. Rao enabled her to travel to Australia and initiate the study in 2008.