Honey Bee Foraging Patterns In Rural and Urban Landscapes
Creators:Matcham, Emma Grace
MetadataShow full item record
Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Entomology Undergraduate Research Theses; 2016
Honey bees are an important insect for crop pollination and honey production, regularly traveling 5km from their hive to forage for nectar and pollen. In agricultural landscapes they forage on crops and the herbaceous plants on field margins. Honey bees also forage on flowering trees at the edges of forests and ornamental and weed species in urban environments. Bees recruit more foragers to resource locations using the waggle dance language. Other bees observe the dance and interpret the duration and angle of the waggle run to determine the location of the resource relative to the hive. Apiarists keep bee hives in both rural and urban environments, but which environment would bees prefer to forage in when given the choice? Does their preferred foraging environment change seasonally? To answer these questions, three glass-walled observation hives were placed at a site along the western edge of the Columbus metropolitan area, with residential development to the east and farmland to the west. Land cover was classified and quantified using GIS. Every week in August and September, 2014, morning and afternoon videos were taken to record dance activity. Videos were then analyzed to create maps of foraging locations for each day. Foraging locations will change throughout the summer, and bees will avoid agricultural areas during harvest and other disruptive times. Bees prefer agricultural areas during fall when goldenrod is blooming. Learning more about honey bee foraging preferences will support the conservation of honey bees and other pollinators through the preservation and enhancement of floral resources in both urban and rural landscapes.
Academic Major: Forestry, Fisheries and Wildlife
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