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oaks and bee populations

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  • Sam Droege
    All: I just received the email below regarding oaks roles in Longleaf Pine ecosystems... I general I would think that oaks themselves are of minor importance.
    Message 1 of 4 , Oct 22, 2011
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      All:

      I just received the email below regarding oaks roles in Longleaf Pine ecosystems...

      I general I would think that oaks themselves are of minor importance.  I am aware of some foraging by bees on their pollen, but am not sure how common/important that would be.

      I would think that as a tree the oak provides an equal substrate to pine for nesting opportunities (and no resin!).

      However, I wonder if the presence of oaks encourages ericaceous plants (by acidifying the soil?)  and thus indirectly fosters a diverse bee community.

      Any illuminations here?  Your thoughts would be very welcome.

      Thanks

      sam




      We are working on a manuscript on the role of oaks and other fire sensitive hardwoods in fire-maintained longleaf pinelands. I hope you can assist us.
      I have heard a bit about your work on many species of native bees at Sandhills NWR through the FWS’s Mark Parker and others, and I am wondering if some of your research might bolster our notion that although oaks are often invasive and detrimental to ecosystem integrity, they play a vital role as well, when scattered or in patches.
      All us authors are very much pro-fire, working in longleaf pine ecosystems across the South, and so our contention is that, yes! most absolutely! fire is vital and we need much more of it, but we need also to take a more nuanced approach to dealing with oaks. We seek to get land managers to not categorically condemn oaks, hickories and other such species, targeting them for eradication, but rather, to manage for them to some degree.
      Perhaps some of your work might help us make our case. In general, we could perhaps use some info on insect biodiversity in such systems, but we’d especially be interested in findings related to insects/oak links in frequently burned longleaf savannas and woodlands. Information on rare, endemic, snag-related or other special insects would be of particular interest.

                                                     
      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

      Sunrise

      In my sleep I was fain of their fellowship, fain        
        Of the live-oak, the marsh, and the main.        
      The little green leaves would not let me alone in my sleep;        
      Up-breathed from the marshes, a message of range and of sweep,        
      Interwoven with waftures of wild sea-liberties, drifting,                
          Came through the lapped leaves sifting, sifting,        
              Came to the gates of sleep.

         - Sidney Lanier
    • Laurence Packer
      Osmia rufa uses oak pollen a lot in Europe.  Google scholaring the first three words in this email will yield several useful references to the phenomenon.
      Message 2 of 4 , Oct 22, 2011
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        Osmia rufa uses oak pollen a lot in Europe.  Google scholaring the first three words in this email will yield several useful references to the phenomenon.

        cheers

        laurence

        --- On Sat, 10/22/11, Sam Droege <sdroege@...> wrote:

        From: Sam Droege <sdroege@...>
        Subject: [beemonitoring] oaks and bee populations
        To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        Cc: "Johnny Stowe" <StoweJ@...>
        Received: Saturday, October 22, 2011, 12:24 PM

         

        All:

        I just received the email below regarding oaks roles in Longleaf Pine ecosystems...

        I general I would think that oaks themselves are of minor importance.  I am aware of some foraging by bees on their pollen, but am not sure how common/important that would be.

        I would think that as a tree the oak provides an equal substrate to pine for nesting opportunities (and no resin!).

        However, I wonder if the presence of oaks encourages ericaceous plants (by acidifying the soil?)  and thus indirectly fosters a diverse bee community.

        Any illuminations here?  Your thoughts would be very welcome.

        Thanks

        sam




        We are working on a manuscript on the role of oaks and other fire sensitive hardwoods in fire-maintained longleaf pinelands. I hope you can assist us.
        I have heard a bit about your work on many species of native bees at Sandhills NWR through the FWS’s Mark Parker and others, and I am wondering if some of your research might bolster our notion that although oaks are often invasive and detrimental to ecosystem integrity, they play a vital role as well, when scattered or in patches.
        All us authors are very much pro-fire, working in longleaf pine ecosystems across the South, and so our contention is that, yes! most absolutely! fire is vital and we need much more of it, but we need also to take a more nuanced approach to dealing with oaks. We seek to get land managers to not categorically condemn oaks, hickories and other such species, targeting them for eradication, but rather, to manage for them to some degree.
        Perhaps some of your work might help us make our case. In general, we could perhaps use some info on insect biodiversity in such systems, but we’d especially be interested in findings related to insects/oak links in frequently burned longleaf savannas and woodlands. Information on rare, endemic, snag-related or other special insects would be of particular interest.

                                                       
        Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
        w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
        USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
        BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
        Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

        Sunrise

        In my sleep I was fain of their fellowship, fain        
          Of the live-oak, the marsh, and the main.        
        The little green leaves would not let me alone in my sleep;        
        Up-breathed from the marshes, a message of range and of sweep,        
        Interwoven with waftures of wild sea-liberties, drifting,                
            Came through the lapped leaves sifting, sifting,        
                Came to the gates of sleep.

           - Sidney Lanier

      • Cane, Jim
        Sam and others- I have seen, on occasional years, when frost eliminates blueberry bloom, or when bees continued to nest after bloom, that female Habropoda
        Message 3 of 4 , Oct 23, 2011
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          Sam and others- I have seen, on occasional years, when frost eliminates blueberry bloom, or when bees continued to nest after bloom, that female Habropoda laboriosa will  collect and provision nest cells with oak pollen.  I do not know the fates of those progeny.  Dr. Michener (1956) reported a similar case for Andrena that normally use Erythronium in Kansas.  Inge Bischoff reports Colletes cunicularius to use oak pollen in Germany. Just out of curiosity, I exhaustively removed and counted pollen from a few individual catkins and found them to average about 1 million pollen grains each!  By that measure, 3 catkins has all the pollen for one Habopoda provision. Fowler (1899) reported early-on about another Habropoda using oak pollen.  And from my work with T’ai Roulston on protein contents (2000), oak pollen is near the top of the list for protein content among wind-pollinated plants (and superior to, for instance, sunflower).  These are examples that come to mind.  That O. rufa paper by Tony Raw that Laurence mentioned was the first to catch my attention on the topic.   I am certain that the average oak pollen grain does _not_ end up in a bee provision, however (although from the evidence, I do sometimes wonder why bees do not use it much more widely).

           

          Yours,

           

          jim

           

           

           

          ===============================

          James H. Cane

          USDA-ARS Pollinating Insect Research Lab

          Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA

          tel: 435-797-3879   FAX: 435-797-0461

          email: Jim.Cane@... 

          http://www.ars.usda.gov/npa/logan/beelab

          http://www.biology.usu.edu/people/facultyinfo.asp?username=jcane

          Gardening for Native Bees: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/plants-pollinators09.pdf



           

        • Sam Droege
          Thanks Jim: Interesting. It seems to have the possible characteristics of a desperation food, but then again, it is not zero so barriers to its use must be
          Message 4 of 4 , Oct 23, 2011
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            Thanks Jim:

            Interesting.  It seems to have the possible characteristics of a desperation food, but then again, it is not zero so barriers to its use must be somewhat low.  

            sam

                                                           
            Sam Droege  sdroege@...                      
            w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
            USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
            BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
            Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

            Black Oaks

               
            Okay, not one can write a symphony, or a dictionary,

            or even a letter to an old friend, full of remembrance
            and comfort.

            Not one can manage a single sound though the blue jays
            carp and whistle all day in the branches, without
            the push of the wind.

            But to tell the truth after a while I'm pale with longing
            for their thick bodies ruckled with lichen

            and you can't keep me from the woods, from the tonnage

            of their shoulders, and their shining green hair.

            Today is a day like any other: twenty-four hours, a
            little sunshine, a little rain.

            Listen, says ambition, nervously shifting her weight from
            one boot to another -- why don't you get going?

            For there I am, in the mossy shadows, under the trees.

            And to tell the truth I don't want to let go of the wrists
            of idleness, I don't want to sell my life for money,

            I don't even want to come in out of the rain.

                  - Mary Oliver




            From:"Cane, Jim" <Jim.Cane@...>
            To:Laurence Packer <laurencepacker@...>, "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>, Sam Droege <sdroege@...>
            Cc:Johnny Stowe <StoweJ@...>
            Date:10/23/2011 01:44 PM
            Subject:RE: [beemonitoring] oaks and bee populations
            Sent by:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com





             

            Sam and others- I have seen, on occasional years, when frost eliminates blueberry bloom, or when bees continued to nest after bloom, that female Habropoda laboriosa will  collect and provision nest cells with oak pollen.  I do not know the fates of those progeny.  Dr. Michener (1956) reported a similar case for Andrena that normally use Erythronium in Kansas.  Inge Bischoff reports Colletes cunicularius to use oak pollen in Germany. Just out of curiosity, I exhaustively removed and counted pollen from a few individual catkins and found them to average about 1 million pollen grains each!  By that measure, 3 catkins has all the pollen for one Habopoda provision. Fowler (1899) reported early-on about another Habropoda using oak pollen.  And from my work with T’ai Roulston on protein contents (2000), oak pollen is near the top of the list for protein content among wind-pollinated plants (and superior to, for instance, sunflower).  These are examples that come to mind.  That O. rufa paper by Tony Raw that Laurence mentioned was the first to catch my attention on the topic.   I am certain that the average oak pollen grain does _not_ end up in a bee provision, however (although from the evidence, I do sometimes wonder why bees do not use it much more widely).

             

            Yours,

             

            jim

             

             

             

            ===============================

            James H. Cane

            USDA-ARS Pollinating Insect Research Lab

            Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA

            tel: 435-797-3879   FAX: 435-797-0461

            email: Jim.Cane@...  

            http://www.ars.usda.gov/npa/logan/beelab

            http://www.biology.usu.edu/people/facultyinfo.asp?username=jcane

            Gardening for Native Bees: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/plants-pollinators09.pdf


             



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