Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Combining Natal and Mass-Release Methods to Increase Nesting Retention of Managed Solitary Bees

Presenter Information

Liesl CannonFollow

Class

Article

Department

Art

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Throughout the past several decades, solitary nesting bees have been developed as an alternative to honeybees (Apis mellifera) as pollinators of commercial crops due to declines in honeybee populations. One of the largest problems when using these alternative pollinators is female pre-nesting dispersal. In previous studies it has been found that different release and emergence methods show varying amounts of nesting fidelity. This was tested with the species Osmia californica at four different locations in Cache Valley. Two emergence treatments were used at each location: first, 90 bees were released in mass from loose cocoons in a wooden box. Three wooden nesting blocks within a 30 foot radius from the release site were provided for nesting. This was the control group; this method is often referred to as the mass release method and is used often in commercially pollinated crops. High pre-nesting dispersal was expected. In the second treatment 90 bees were placed in built-in compartments on the back of three wooden nesting blocks, and emerged through the cavities of the block. This treatment combined positive aspects from the mass release method and natal nest release method in order to increase nest fidelity, and will be referred to as the loose cocoon blocks. These two treatments were placed at least .12 km from each other at each location. Blocks were out from May-July 2014. Nesting success was calculated by the number of cells provisioned by O. californica for each treatment at each location. Results were variable; at one location the loose cocoon blocks had four times the amount of provisioned cells. At another location the control blocks had two times as many, and at the other locations the two treatments showed equal results. Because of this variability future experiments should be conducted before any definitive questions of success can be answered.

Start Date

4-9-2015 1:30 PM

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Apr 9th, 1:30 PM

Combining Natal and Mass-Release Methods to Increase Nesting Retention of Managed Solitary Bees

Throughout the past several decades, solitary nesting bees have been developed as an alternative to honeybees (Apis mellifera) as pollinators of commercial crops due to declines in honeybee populations. One of the largest problems when using these alternative pollinators is female pre-nesting dispersal. In previous studies it has been found that different release and emergence methods show varying amounts of nesting fidelity. This was tested with the species Osmia californica at four different locations in Cache Valley. Two emergence treatments were used at each location: first, 90 bees were released in mass from loose cocoons in a wooden box. Three wooden nesting blocks within a 30 foot radius from the release site were provided for nesting. This was the control group; this method is often referred to as the mass release method and is used often in commercially pollinated crops. High pre-nesting dispersal was expected. In the second treatment 90 bees were placed in built-in compartments on the back of three wooden nesting blocks, and emerged through the cavities of the block. This treatment combined positive aspects from the mass release method and natal nest release method in order to increase nest fidelity, and will be referred to as the loose cocoon blocks. These two treatments were placed at least .12 km from each other at each location. Blocks were out from May-July 2014. Nesting success was calculated by the number of cells provisioned by O. californica for each treatment at each location. Results were variable; at one location the loose cocoon blocks had four times the amount of provisioned cells. At another location the control blocks had two times as many, and at the other locations the two treatments showed equal results. Because of this variability future experiments should be conducted before any definitive questions of success can be answered.