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roads and bees

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  • Gidi
    Hello everyone. I am looking for information on the effects of roads on bee movement. Exhaustive searches in Google Scholar and Web of Science yielded only
    Message 1 of 6 , May 4, 2009
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      Hello everyone. I am looking for information on the effects of roads on bee movement. Exhaustive searches in "Google Scholar" and "Web of Science" yielded only one relevant article (and a few dealing with beetles rather than bees). The rumor says that roads tend to form a barrier to bee movement. Is this true? Is it a complete or only partial barrier? Are all bee taxa similarly affected? Is the effect caused by the asphalt cover, the rapid movement of vehicles, the chemicals emitted by the vehicles, etc.? Would a narrow road, rarely driven through and surrounded by natural vegetation, cause the same effect as a busy highway (I guess not...)?

      I would appreciate if you could recommend any relevant literature and/or share your own experience and knowledge.

      Thank you in advance,

      Gidi Pisanty.
    • H
      Gidi- Most of the following is personal experience... I think your question needs to specifiy the size or the road and speed of traffic as well as time of
      Message 2 of 6 , May 4, 2009
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        Gidi-

        Most of the following is personal experience...

        I think your question needs to specifiy the size or the road and speed of traffic as well as time of year.

        I've documented very high Bombus [worker] mortality do to vehicular traffic outside of Yosemite National Park in the early spring time [200+ in 24hr. period in lest than 1/4 mile]. I didn't see many other genera of bees but this could be due to a plethora of factors [Bumble bees not sicking to cars while smaller bees are; more bumbus workers visiting road side blooms... ]. Small passerines, Humming birds and bats were also noted but on a much larger transect.  This was a 45mph two lane road with a Mediterranean or open savanna landscape surrounding the road. The 1/4 mile count was indicative of the about 10 of the 20 miles from Yosemite National park to Groveland, CA.

        I have no idea as the to effect of seeding/planting native plants along supper highways [ex. Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Projects along 6 lane, 65mph, Texas Highways] but this has been topic rasied at more than once chapter Ecological SA meetings in the North Texas Area.

         Xerces may have funded a project studying bee mortality along roads-2000 to 2003??? [conversation with Gabriela Chavarria]

        As to the 'Narrow'; rarely used or 'dirt roads' = They can be excellent nesting sites.
        I've posted a pictures at:
        http://hikerd.googlepages.com/road_nest.jpg
        http://hikerd.googlepages.com/road_nest_closeup.jpg

        Finally, Roads have been documented in numerous studies as corridors for invasive, non-native, and/or adventive plant species. The example that I'm going to provide is based on the native plant Grindelia squarrosa or curlycup gumweed. Of the 1594 bees collected off of Grindelia squarrosa in Utah there are 224 species of bees recored as visiting this plant form 75 different locations. Almost every location was within 100 meters of a road as this very bee attractive plant favors disturabance. I've never seen it except for a roadside, excavated trail or construction setting. I have checked alvalache and landsides areas in years after these events without luck. Construction crew must spit gumweed seeds as they do their work...
        http://kswildflower.org/details.php?flowerID=159
        as well as
        http://www.extension.uiuc.edu/~vista/html_pubs/WEEDS/list.html

        You will collect a "Meg" [Megachilidae] from it!!!!


        cheers,
        H


        On Mon, May 4, 2009 at 12:49 PM, Gidi <gidpisa79@...> wrote:


        Hello everyone. I am looking for information on the effects of roads on bee movement. Exhaustive searches in "Google Scholar" and "Web of Science" yielded only one relevant article (and a few dealing with beetles rather than bees). The rumor says that roads tend to form a barrier to bee movement. Is this true? Is it a complete or only partial barrier? Are all bee taxa similarly affected? Is the effect caused by the asphalt cover, the rapid movement of vehicles, the chemicals emitted by the vehicles, etc.? Would a narrow road, rarely driven through and surrounded by natural vegetation, cause the same effect as a busy highway (I guess not...)?

        I would appreciate if you could recommend any relevant literature and/or share your own experience and knowledge.

        Thank you in advance,

        Gidi Pisanty.




        --
        HW Ikerd
        Hikerd@...
        !!!!!   435-764-5936(cell) NEW NUMBER    !!!!!
        435-797-2425(work)

        Team in Training website:
        http://pages.teamintraining.org/dm/slc09/hikerd

        Team Blog: http://logantnt.blogspot.com/
      • Cane, Jim
        Gidi- I agree with much of what Harold has written about roads and bees. Alfalfa seed growers who pollinate using the native ground-nesting Nomia melanderi are
        Message 3 of 6 , May 4, 2009
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          Gidi- I agree with much of what Harold has written about roads and bees.  Alfalfa seed growers who pollinate using the native ground-nesting Nomia melanderi are concerned enough with traffic kills of their bees nesting near roads that they have put speed signs around their valley.

           

          NomiaNestingSign.jpg

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

          James H. Cane

          USDA-ARS Bee Biology and Systematics Lab

          Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA

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

          email: Jim.Cane@... 

          web pages: www.ars.usda.gov/npa/beelab

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

           

          " Always do whatever's next."
          George Carlin

           

        • Doug Yanega
          Harold wrote ... This is definitely true, in both temperate and tropical areas; lots of bees and wasps like bare well-packed soil for nest sites. Unpaved dirt
          Message 4 of 6 , May 4, 2009
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            Harold wrote

            >As to the 'Narrow'; rarely used or 'dirt roads' = They can be
            >excellent nesting sites.

            This is definitely true, in both temperate and tropical areas; lots
            of bees and wasps like bare well-packed soil for nest sites. Unpaved
            dirt roads are generally great for bees. But gravel roads are awful.
            Surprisingly, asphalt roads can be a positive influence: in the local
            deserts, the extra moisture resulting from road-surface spillover
            creates a narrow zone of plants that are greener and more often in
            bloom than those even a meter from the road edge. The actual
            floristic composition of this narrow zone can be dramatically
            different from all of the surrounding habitat - it's always
            surprising to see how big a difference that little extra moisture can
            make.

            Peace,
            --

            Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
            Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
            phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
            http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
            "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
            is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
          • David Inouye
            I ve seen road-killed bumble bees not infrequently. Some on my windshield, some on the road. David Inouye
            Message 5 of 6 , May 4, 2009
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              I've seen road-killed bumble bees not infrequently. Some on my
              windshield, some on the road.

              David Inouye

              At 12:49 PM 5/4/2009, you wrote:


              >Hello everyone. I am looking for information on the effects of roads
              >on bee movement. Exhaustive searches in "Google Scholar" and "Web of
              >Science" yielded only one relevant article (and a few dealing with
              >beetles rather than bees). The rumor says that roads tend to form a
              >barrier to bee movement. Is this true? Is it a complete or only
              >partial barrier? Are all bee taxa similarly affected? Is the effect
              >caused by the asphalt cover, the rapid movement of vehicles, the
              >chemicals emitted by the vehicles, etc.? Would a narrow road, rarely
              >driven through and surrounded by natural vegetation, cause the same
              >effect as a busy highway (I guess not...)?
              >
              >I would appreciate if you could recommend any relevant literature
              >and/or share your own experience and knowledge.
              >
              >Thank you in advance,
              >
              >Gidi Pisanty.
            • Sarina Jepsen
              Hi Gidi, Jennifer Hopwood published a paper last year that may interest you. She looked at bee diversity in restored grasslands on road edges and found that
              Message 6 of 6 , May 5, 2009
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                Hi Gidi,
                Jennifer Hopwood published a paper last year that may interest you. She looked at bee diversity in restored grasslands on road edges and found that "Traffic and width of roadside did not significantly influence bees, suggesting that even relatively narrow verges near heavy traffic could provide valuable habitat to bees."

                Hopwood, J.L. 2008. The contribution of roadside grassland restorations to native bee conservation. Biological Conservation 141: 2632-2640.

                Here is the abstract:
                Marginal habitats such as hedgerows or roadsides become especially important for the conservation of biodiversity in highly modified landscapes. With concerns of a global pollination crisis, there is a need for improving pollinator habitat. Roadsides restored to native prairie vegetation may provide valuable habitat to bees, the most important group of pollinators. Such roadsides support a variety of pollen and nectar sources and unlike agricultural fields, are unplowed, and therefore can provide potential nesting sites for groundnesting bees. To examine potential effects of roadside restoration, bee communities were sampled via aerial netting and pan trapping along roadside prairie restorations as well as roadsides dominated by non-native plants. Management of roadside vegetation via the planting of native species profoundly affected bee communities. Restored roadsides supported significantly greater bee abundances as well as higher species richness compared to weedy roadsides. Floral species richness, floral abundance, and percentage of bare ground were the factors that led to greater bee abundance and bee species richness along restored roadsides. Traffic and width of roadside did not significantly influence bees, suggesting that even relatively narrow verges near heavy traffic could provide valuable habitat to bees. Restored and weedy roadside bee communities were similar to the prairie remnant, but the prairie remnant was more similar in bee richness and abundance to restored roadsides. Restoring additional roadsides to native vegetation could benefit pollinator conservation efforts by improving habitat on the millions of acres of land devoted to roadsides worldwide, land that is already set aside from further development.

                Also, my coworker (Matthew Shepherd) said that Patty Cramer with the USGS Utah Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit has been collecting information on how roads impact wildlife: www.wildlifeandroads.org

                Best of luck,
                Sarina Jepsen
                ___________________________________________
                The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

                The Xerces Society is an international, nonprofit
                organization that protects wildlife through the
                conservation of invertebrates and their habitat.
                To join the Society, make a contribution, or read
                about our work, please visit www.xerces.org

                Sarina Jepsen
                Endangered Species Coordinator
                4828 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Portland, OR 97215
                tel: 503-232-6639 fax: 503-233-6794
                email: sarina@...
                ___________________________________________


                Gidi wrote:

                Hello everyone. I am looking for information on the effects of roads on bee movement. Exhaustive searches in "Google Scholar" and "Web of Science" yielded only one relevant article (and a few dealing with beetles rather than bees). The rumor says that roads tend to form a barrier to bee movement. Is this true? Is it a complete or only partial barrier? Are all bee taxa similarly affected? Is the effect caused by the asphalt cover, the rapid movement of vehicles, the chemicals emitted by the vehicles, etc.? Would a narrow road, rarely driven through and surrounded by natural vegetation, cause the same effect as a busy highway (I guess not...)?

                I would appreciate if you could recommend any relevant literature and/or share your own experience and knowledge.

                Thank you in advance,

                Gidi Pisanty.



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