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Re: RE: [beemonitoring] foraging distances

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  • Jessica Beckham
    Hi Josh, I had been researching the foraging distances of bees in general a few months back and ran across a good number of sources that related bee body size
    Message 1 of 12 , Feb 21, 2012
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      Hi Josh,
      I had been researching the foraging distances of bees in general a few months back and ran across a good number of sources that related bee body size to foraging distance - in general, larger bees have larger foraging distances.  I am sure that this must vary greatly across landscape types, but one particularly nice source I found was by Greenleaf et al. (2007) - Bee foraging ranges and their relationship to body size (can be downloaded at http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/17598545/383890861/name/Greenleaf+et+al+2007+Oecologia+foraging+ranges+.pdf ) .  The reference list is also quite good for this topic.  
      Cheers!
      Jessica  
    • Jack Neff
      Two other useful references with useful empirical results on foraging ranges are  Guédot, C, J. Bosch and W. Kemp. 2008. Relationships between body size and
      Message 2 of 12 , Feb 21, 2012
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        Two other useful references with useful empirical results on foraging ranges are  Guédot, C, J. Bosch and W. Kemp. 2008. Relationships between body size and homing ability in the genus Osmia (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Ecological Entomology 34:158-161l  and Zurbuchen, A, L. Landert, J. Klaiber & A. Müller.  2010.  Maximum foraging ranges in solitary bees: only few individuals have the capability to cover long distances.  Biological Conservation  143: 669-676.  The latter is particularly relevant and uses a very clever methodology.

        best

        Jack 
         
        John L. Neff
        Central Texas Melittological Institute
        7307 Running Rope
        Austin,TX 78731 USA
        512-345-7219

        From: pollinator2001 <Pollinator@...>
        To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Friday, February 17, 2012 5:18 PM
        Subject: [beemonitoring] Re: foraging distances

         


        --- In beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com, "Campbell, Joshua" <jcampbel@...> wrote:
        >
        > Hi all,
        >
        > I am involved in a project that is attempting to monitor flower visitors (abundances/species richness) in various biofuel crops (native grasses, Bermuda, switchgrass, etc.). I have been using various colored bowls to capture flower visitors. I am curious whether any information exists on how far a bee (in general) can see bowls (or flowers). My plots are about 20 acres...mostly square. Is there any legitimate chance that bowl traps could draw bees (or other potential pollinators) from long distances into habitat that they may not normally go? Or do most bees forage pretty close to their home? Any information (or opinions) will be gratefully appreciated. Thanks again.
        >

        I have had honeybees on some very large farms, and I've made observations aplenty over the years - mostly because some growers want the bees dropped two at a time, where it saves a lot of labor to drop them in much larger groups.

        What I've found is that the effective pollination range (on cucurbits) is pretty consistantly at about .6 mile (1 kilometer). Beyond this bee density on the flowers drops off rapidly. Now they certainly can range farther, but only in lean times.

        You also find that within a couple hours after they start working, there are almost no bees on flowers that are close to the hives. Apparently competition drives them farther and farther out.

        I can't really relate this to other species, but my gut feeling is that honeybees likely have the longest range. Flying wears out their wings, but honeybees, with their large populations and more expendible individuals, can afford to fly more.

        Dave
        Retired pollination contractor



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