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Trapping of feral honey bee workers (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a coastal prairie landscape: effects of season and vegetation type1

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 April 2012

Kristen A. Baum*
Affiliation:
Knowledge Engineering Laboratory, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, United States of America
William L. Rubink
Affiliation:
Beneficial Insects Research Unit, Honey Bee Group, USDA-ARS, 2413 East Highway 83, Building 213, Weslaco, Texas 78596, United States of America
Robert N. Coulson
Affiliation:
Knowledge Engineering Laboratory, Department of Entomology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas 77843, United States of America
*
3 Corresponding author (e-mail: kristen.baum@okstate.edu).

Abstract

We examined capture rates of honey bee workers (Apis mellifera L.) throughout the year and compared capture rates among four different vegetation communities. Capture rates varied throughout the year, with the largest number of bees collected from December through February, when nectar and pollen availability were low. Capture rates also varied among vegetation communities. Traps located in the woodland community contained fewer honey bees than those located in live oak in February and live oak and brushland in December, corresponding to lower estimates of nectar availability in the woodland. Few honey bees were collected during swarming periods, suggesting that most of the captured honey bees were searching for food sources. The number of honey bees collected in the traps provided a qualitative estimate of food resource availability. The traps also may be used to collect insects for genetic analysis or to examine the spatial and temporal distribution of other species.

Résumé

Nous avons examiné les taux de capture d'ouvrières d'abeilles domestiques (Apis mellifera L.) au cours de l'année et comparé les taux de capture dans quatre communautés végétales différentes. Les taux de capture varient pendant l'année et le plus grand nombre d'abeilles est récolté de décembre jusqu'en février alors que la disponibilité du nectar et du pollen est basse. Les taux de capture varient aussi en fonction des communautés végétales. Les pièges placés dans des communautés forestières contiennent moins d'abeilles domestiques que ceux situés dans des communautés de chênes verts en février ou dans des communautés de broussailles et de chênes verts en décembre, ce qui s'explique par des estimations de la disponibilité plus faible du nectar dans la forêt. Peu d'abeilles ont été capturées durant les périodes d'essaimage, ce qui indique que la plupart des abeilles récoltées étaient à la recherche de sources de nourriture. Le nombre d'abeilles domestiques capturées dans les pièges fournit une estimation qualitative de la disponibilité des ressources alimentaires. Les pièges peuvent aussi servir à récolter des insectes pour les analyses génétiques ou pour étudier la répartition spatiale et temporelle d'autres espèces.

[Traduit par la Rédaction]

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Entomological Society of Canada 2006

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Footnotes

1

This is contribution 654 of the Welder Wildlife Foundation, Sinton, TX 78387, United States of America.

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