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Re: [beemonitoring] Nutritional compositon of pollen grains for bees

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  • T'ai Roulston
    Dear Linda: It is definitely preferable to collect pollen straight from the flowers if you are interested in knowing the nutritional values of the pollen.
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 3, 2009
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      Dear Linda:

      It is definitely preferable to collect pollen straight from the flowers if you are interested in knowing the nutritional values of the pollen. Honey bees, and many others, mix nectar with pollen when they are transporting it, and the weight of the nectar sugar can be substantial and not easy to factor out for any calculation that would be based on an estimate of amount of a nutrient divided by weight of pollen. So hand collecting is preferable. Having said that, I need to add that for many flowers, collecting sufficient pollen by hand for analyses is challenging.

      Measuring particular constituents of pollen, such as protein, is a reasonable goal for understanding the value of different pollen for bee nutrition, but it may not easily translate into simple estimates of the best food source for bees. Even for often studied bees such as honey bees, where there are many claims for superior or inferior pollens, the relationship between the chemical composition of those pollens and bee/colony survival and productivity is very poorly known.

      Some of my work that bears on your question and lays out some techniques are listed below.

      Best regards,

      Roulston, T. H., J. H. Cane, and S. L. Buchmann. 2000. What governs the protein content of pollen: pollinator preferences, pollen-pistil interactions, or phylogeny? Ecological Monographs 70:617-643. 
      Roulston, T. H., and J. H. Cane. 2000. Pollen nutritional content and digestibility for animals. Plant Systematics and Evolution 222:187-209. 
      Roulston, T. H., and J. H. Cane. 2002. The effect of pollen protein concentration on body size in the sweat bee Lasioglossum zephyrum(Hymenoptera: Apiformes). Evolutionary Ecology 16:49-65. 

      On Dec 3, 2009, at 2:19 PM, Linda Newstrom wrote:

      sorry I forgot to put the subject header on so I am sending this a second time.

      From: Linda Newstrom
      Sent: Friday, 4 December 2009 8:09 a.m.
      To: Sam Droege; beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com
      Cc: ropert@asurequality .com; Marco Gonzalez (GonzalezM@asurequa lity.com)
      Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] Nutritional compositon of pollen grains for bees

      Hi Everyone:
      Does anyone know someone who has experience in analysing the nutritional composition of pollen grains for honey bee and other bees?  We are in contact with Doug Somerville who wrote Fat Bees Skinny Bees for Australia but we would like to know if anyone else has done this?  Is it feasible to collect pollen directly from the flowers rather than pollen off the bees?  We are proposing a project to assess the protein content of New Zealand native trees and shrubs and it is probably not possible to collect from the bees.
      Linda Newstrom-Lloyd

      From: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com [beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com] On Behalf Of Sam Droege [sdroege@usgs. gov]
      Sent: Friday, 4 December 2009 6:49 a.m.
      To: beemonitoring@ yahoogroups. com
      Subject: [beemonitoring] New Guide to Sphecidae East of the Mississippi Available



      The talented Erika Tucker from our lab has just finished up a guide to the 40 Sphecid wasps east of the Mississippi River. 

      http://www.discover life.org/ mp/20q?guide= Sphecidae 

      We borrowed heavily from the marvelous works and text of both Menke and Bohart and were able to look at specimens for all the species except for Sphex flavitarsis, which we are going to hunt down soon. 

      As always feel free to comment, send corrections and distribute to anyone interested. 



      Sam Droege  sdroege@usgs. gov                      
      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 

      The Shapes of Leaves 

      Ginkgo, cottonwood, pin oak, sweet gum, tulip tree:
      our emotions resemble leaves and alive
      to their shapes we are nourished.

      Have you felt the expanse and contours of grief
      along the edges of a big Norway maple?
      Have you winced at the orange flare

      searing the curves of a curling dogwood?
      I have seen from the air logged islands,
      each with a network of branching gravel roads,

      and felt a moment of pure anger, aspen gold.
      I have seen sandhill cranes moving in an open field,
      a single white whooping crane in the flock.

      And I have traveled along the contours
      of leaves that have no name. Here
      where the air is wet and the light is cool,

      I feel what others are thinking and do not speak,
      I know pleasure in the veins of a sugar maple,
      I am living at the edge of a new leaf.

      - Arthur Sze 

      P Bees are not optional.

      Please consider the environment before printing this email
      Warning: This electronic message together with any attachments is confidential. If you receive it in error: (i) you must not read, use, disclose, copy or retain it; (ii) please contact the sender immediately by reply email and then delete the emails.
      The views expressed in this email may not be those of Landcare Research New Zealand Limited. http://www.landcare research. co.nz

      T'ai Roulston
      Curator, State Arboretum of Virginia
      Research Assoc. Prof., Dept of Envi. Sci.
      University of Virginia

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