International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI2018), August 5-10, 2018 in Guarujá, Brazil.

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Spatio-temporal use of blueberry fields by Bombus atratus (Hymenoptera:Apidae) and its relationship with pollen provisioning

Author(s):
Pablo Cavigliasso, , , , , ,
Institution(s):
Programa Nacional Apícola, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA) Concordia, Entre Ríos, Argentina; School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University (MTU). Houghton, Michigan, United State of America ; School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University (MTU). Houghton, Michigan, United State of America ; Instituto Miguel Lillo Universidad Nacional de Tucumán / Instituto de Ecología Regional Horco Molle/CONICET. San Miguel de Tucumán, Tucumán, Argentina ; Programa Nacional Apícola, Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria (INTA). Famailla, Tucumán, Argentina ; School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University (MTU). Houghton, Michigan, United State of America ; School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University (MTU). Houghton, Michigan, United State of America
Wild pollinators perform an important service to farmers, but just how these insects percieve and utitlize habitats, both in time and space, remains understudied. Understanding this relationship is crucial in order to develop conservation strategies and agricultural management plans. To help address this question, we tracked 17 queen bumbebees (Bombus atratus) in working agricultural fields in Entre Ríos, Argentina. Our study area was a mixed agricultural landscape with large-scale blueberry fields (Vaccinium corymbosum), citrus orchards and forest plantations. We conducted our study from Aug. to Sept. 2015 and tracked bees early in the season when blueberry flowers were abundant and late in season when flowers waned. To evaluate the use of this floral resources by bees, queens were netted and tracked using minitured radio telemetry tags, and we collected pollen samples from the body of the bees. We then estimated home ranges of bees with ≥ 5 GPS locations using minimum convenx polygons (MCP) and kernel density (KD), and charaterized the land use categoreis (LUs) with QGIS. We then compared GPS points with the proportion of each LU, the sampling period, and blueberry pollen with a Mixed Models (MLMix). The body content of blueberry pollen was 15.2 times lower between the start and the end the flowering, in contrast to an increase of 60.02% of pollen from other species (p <0.05). The proportion of each LU was modified, Blueberry reduced its area in a 45.42%; Semi / Natural and Forests increased their proportion in 29.40% and 65.95% respectively between these moments (p <0.0005). To our knowledge, this is the first study of its kind to track bee movements in an applied agriculutral setting and relate movement acress time and space with pollen resource availability.
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