Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [beemonitoring] Alternative Methodology Question

Expand Messages
  • Sam Droege
    Hi Jessica You have seen some nice thoughtful replies to your questions from the list and undoubtedly you have gotten more offline. Similar to what Jack has
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 8, 2012
    • 0 Attachment
      Hi Jessica

      You have seen some nice thoughtful replies to your questions from the list and undoubtedly you have gotten more offline.

      Similar to what Jack has mentioned, I would say that if you want to document bee diversity you will have to be working with specimens that have been killed simply because their ID is difficult and nobody can identify all bee captured to the species level in an area without having them on a pin.

      We all have to wrestle with the moral aspects of killing our study animals, and justify it to our funders and collaborators, but see some of the lines of reasoning below that I use that I think diminish the need to worry about our impacts on the population.  These are meant as simple bullet points to use when thinking about the topic.



      1.  We often run studies where we run bowls in the same place for several days.  We always continue to get bees throughout the time period, usually the last run is about half the first.
      2.  The average bee has a flight period of 5 weeks, thus bowls only capture one fraction of all the bees that come out throughout the year.
      3.  Many of the bees captures are Lasioglossum and Halictus, those groups are Eusocial so many of the bees captured are not reproductive
      4.  Solitary bees (99% of the catch) make a series of cells, each cell is independent of the other and not usually tended by the female and if the female dies (from bowls or whatever) the cells created are "good to go" thus, on average, only half a captured female's potential progeny output are affected
      5.  Males do not provide parental care of any kind and thus their captures have little impact on the next generation.
      6.  Overall mortality of bees from bowls compared to the thousands of bees present in a given field is almost certainly not additive but compensated for through higher births, lower deaths, and immigration.  No studies have shown a next year impact from sampling, for example.
      7.  The number of bees in any area is high and sources of mortality from predators, bad weather, pesticides, parasites, disease, and cuckoo bees far outweigh mortality from a bowl sample.


      That is the rational response to , but it does not really speak to the emotional responses we have to the killing of things we study.  Yet, we have to be careful, perhaps, in the lines of reasoning that we apply to this topic.  There is a completely understandable tendency to transfer the complex and well reasoned value systems we have created for humans, and for some, all vertebrate animals, whole cloth to that of bees.  However, to apply an animal rights system based on vertebrates to the killing of bees for scientific study is difficult to do consistently for all insects in our lives.   It is even more difficult to demonstrate philosophically that we should try to diminish our killing of bees, but that it is ok to actively kill other insects.  This is simply because we overlook the many invertebrates we kill every day.     For example, the Dutch have documented that they kill billions of insects each month simply from insects striking their licence plates as they drive.  This is nothing new (other than the quantification of the deaths)  but is the death of insects something that most people think about in their internal formulation of whether to drive somewhere or not?  So, in a system that tries to reduce the unintended death of bees, (requiring a high cost in time, statistical power, and other resources) what of looking at those deaths we generate from driving our vehicles, mowing our grass, the use of pesticides (organic or not), and washing our clothes (killing many millions of dust mites over our life time) and ask why we do not apply these values equally.

      This is a good topic, and it clearly creates internal reactions in all of us, but there are many interesting levels to consider that I think have not been considered fully in the past.  In the end, we all have to make up our own minds and since we are all different there will always be many strategies at play in the world of bee study.  Not killing bees because it makes us uncomfortable is a completely valid reason to look at alternatives...it is the inspection and balancing of the big picture that continues to fascinates me.

      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
                                                    
                Death is like the insect
                Menacing the tree,
                Competent to kill it,
                But decoyed may be.


                Bait it with the balsam,
                Seek it with the knife,
                Baffle, if it cost you
                Everything in life.


                Then, if it have burrowed
                Out of reach of skill,
                Ring the tree and leave it,--
                'T is the vermin's will.
                       -Dickinson




      From:Jessica Beckham <jessbeck47@...>
      To:"beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
      Date:11/08/2012 11:42 AM
      Subject:[beemonitoring] Alternative Methodology Question
      Sent by:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com





       

      Hello All,


      I am a PhD student who is developing a project to assess bee pollinator diversity in urban gardens in my area (Denton, Texas).  I understand that the best methods for assessing bee diversity involve collection of bees via hand netting and bowl traps, especially for a novice at bee identification like myself.  However, I am wondering if there are any accepted no-kill methods for assessing bee diversity. The reason is that, although I have had multiple local urban gardeners and homeowners express interest in my project, some are hesitant to participate because they realize that bees are important resources and they do not want to help reduce the already limited populations.  To an extent I can see this point and am thrilled that citizens are aware of the situation that our pollinators are facing.  I thought I would address this group to see if anyone has used/knows of methodology for assessing bee diversity without killing bees.  Furthermore, has anyone dealt with similar experiences?  

      Thanks in advance!

      Jessica Beckham
      Ph.D Student
      University of North Texas, Institute of Applied Science



    • David_r_smith@fws.gov
      I couldn t agree more with Virginia s recent post on the value of collecting the voulcher specimens. There are some bees I could probably ID if they were live
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 8, 2012
      • 0 Attachment

        I couldn't agree more with Virginia's recent post on the value of collecting the voulcher specimens.  There are some bees I could probably ID if they were live and bouncing around in a plastic vial or even chilled.  But I wouldn't bet the ranch on those IDs.  A diversity study is only as good as the accuracy of the species ID.  I send specimens to studbnts working on genera revisions, Bombus specimens to a student here study parasites.  

        Are you certain that the native bees that are currently using urban gardens in Denton, Texas have limited populations?  Another thing to consider is how many gardens are there in Denton that support native bees, how many bees are you sampling over how long.  Just exactly how many bees across the landscape will you eventually be removing?  On a per garden basis, it probably isn't that many.




        Jessica Beckham <jessbeck47@...>
        Sent by: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com

        11/08/2012 09:42 AM

        Please respond to
        Jessica Beckham <jessbeck47@...>

        To
        "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
        cc
        Subject
        [beemonitoring] Alternative Methodology Question





         

        Hello All,


        I am a PhD student who is developing a project to assess bee pollinator diversity in urban gardens in my area (Denton, Texas).  I understand that the best methods for assessing bee diversity involve collection of bees via hand netting and bowl traps, especially for a novice at bee identification like myself.  However, I am wondering if there are any accepted no-kill methods for assessing bee diversity. The reason is that, although I have had multiple local urban gardeners and homeowners express interest in my project, some are hesitant to participate because they realize that bees are important resources and they do not want to help reduce the already limited populations.  To an extent I can see this point and am thrilled that citizens are aware of the situation that our pollinators are facing.  I thought I would address this group to see if anyone has used/knows of methodology for assessing bee diversity without killing bees.  Furthermore, has anyone dealt with similar experiences?  

        Thanks in advance!

        Jessica Beckham
        Ph.D Student
        University of North Texas, Institute of Applied Science


      • Rykken, Jessica
        This is a pretty good article on the general topic of killing insects for research. http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/bsc/pdf/whywekillbugs.pdf Jessica Rykken
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 8, 2012
        • 0 Attachment
          This is a pretty good article on the general topic of killing insects for research.
           
          Jessica Rykken
          Research Associate
          Museum of Comparative Zoology
          Harvard University
          26 Oxford St.
          Cambridge, MA 02138
          phone:  617-496-1221 or 413-665-0412
          fax:  617-495-5667
           
           
        • Kvisberglien Evie Christiansen
          I have seen that the experienced field workers here use compressed CO2, the kind used for bicycles (used for filling flat tires). They are available in any
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 8, 2012
          • 0 Attachment

            I have seen that the experienced field workers here use compressed CO2, the kind used for bicycles (used for filling flat tires). They are available in any decent size sports store and are in a handy size. It knocks the bumble bee out for long enough to identify it, and it seems unharmed when it takes off again.

             

            They simply put the bumble bee in a dram glass (with a few holes in the lid). Insert the tip of the CO2-container (small and handheld, fits in your pocket) and give the bumble bee a doze. I haven’t seen it tested on bees, but I suppose it works on them as well.

             

            The ones that can’t be identified in the field can be brought home for proper id.

             

            I plan to use this method next summer for my next project J

             

             


            Best regards
            Evie Christiansen Kvisberglien

            Norwegian Public Roads Administration 

            Before printing, think about the environment

             

          • Jessica Beckham
            Dear Beemonitoring Group, I just wanted to send a thank you out for all of the thoughtful, informative responses that y all provided!  What an intelligent
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 9, 2012
            • 0 Attachment
              Dear Beemonitoring Group,

              I just wanted to send a thank you out for all of the thoughtful, informative responses that y'all provided!  What an intelligent group of people -- what I wouldn't give to have a cup of coffee with each of you!  I have truly enjoyed reading the responses and am still synthesizing the ideas, philosophies, and techniques.  I will certainly be trying out some of the suggested alternative methods as I work on my project.  

              Additionally, I appreciate the lines of reasoning that were given regarding the collection and use of dead specimens.  Being able to explain the benefits of preserved specimens, as well as posing the logical argument that we each likely kill more insects with our cars than with bowls or nets, should prove useful in the (maybe inevitable?) event that I must explain to citizens why I am collecting and killing bees.  

              And as for the question that came up a couple of times regarding whether bees in my area are truly declining -- the truth is that we don't actually know, as baseline data are not, to the best of our knowledge, available for our area.  (If someone knows differently, please let me know!)      

              Thank you all so much.

              Sincerely,
              Jessica Beckham



              From: Kvisberglien Evie Christiansen <evie.christiansen@...>
              To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Friday, November 9, 2012 1:59 AM
              Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Alternative Methodology Question

               
              I have seen that the experienced field workers here use compressed CO2, the kind used for bicycles (used for filling flat tires). They are available in any decent size sports store and are in a handy size. It knocks the bumble bee out for long enough to identify it, and it seems unharmed when it takes off again.
               
              They simply put the bumble bee in a dram glass (with a few holes in the lid). Insert the tip of the CO2-container (small and handheld, fits in your pocket) and give the bumble bee a doze. I haven’t seen it tested on bees, but I suppose it works on them as well.
               
              The ones that can’t be identified in the field can be brought home for proper id.
               
              I plan to use this method next summer for my next project J
               
               

              Best regards
              Evie Christiansen Kvisberglien

              Norwegian Public Roads Administration 

              Before printing, think about the environment
               


            • elaineceleste
              RE knocking bees out temporarily for ID......I remember some studies from the 90s that found increased larval ejection in bumble bee colonies following CO2
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 10, 2012
              • 0 Attachment
                RE knocking bees out temporarily for ID......I remember some studies from the 90s that found increased larval ejection in bumble bee colonies following CO2 narcosis of workers. I haven't looked into this lately to know if people figured out all of what was going on there, but I've been avoiding its use to be on the safe side.
                -Elaine

                Elaine Evans
                PhD Student, Dept of Entomology
                University of Minnesota
                219 Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Ave
                Saint Paul MN 55108
                612-625-5764 evan0155@...
                www.befriendingbumblebees.com
              • Anita M. Collins
                Honey bee queens are routinely anesthetized with CO2 for artificial insemination and then retreated a day later to help start oviposition. with workers it does
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 11, 2012
                • 0 Attachment
                  Honey bee queens are routinely anesthetized with CO2 for artificial insemination and then retreated a day later to help start oviposition.  with workers it does seem to remove short term memory, like location of nectar plants. 
                  Anita Collins
                   
                   
                   
                   
                  If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research.
                  Albert Einstein
                   
                  On 11/10/12, elaineceleste<fuzzybumblebee@...> wrote:
                   
                   

                  RE knocking bees out temporarily for ID......I remember some studies from the 90s that found increased larval ejection in bumble bee colonies following CO2 narcosis of workers. I haven't looked into this lately to know if people figured out all of what was going on there, but I've been avoiding its use to be on the safe side.
                  -Elaine

                  Elaine Evans
                  PhD Student, Dept of Entomology
                  University of Minnesota
                  219 Hodson Hall, 1980 Folwell Ave
                  Saint Paul MN 55108
                  612-625-5764 evan0155@...
                  www.befriendingbumblebees.com

                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.