This summer I began working on my biology thesis and wanted to share about my project.
The Albany Pine Bush PBombus affinis (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2017). The bee communities are extremely important to monitor at this time, as they are declining world wide at an alarming rate (Kopec and Burd 2017). Bee decline is due to a variety of reasons including: habitat loss, pesticide use, and climate change (Kopec and Burd 2017). In order to determine how bee species are affected by restoration I conduct bee community surveys in native plant species sites and restored sites in order to compare community compositions. To analyze the bee communities in restored and native sites, four of each are aligned with vegetation plots established by Professor Jeffery Corbin and his students. I set up grids and place nine pan traps in each site. Collection methods include pan traps and sweep netting. Sweep nets are deployed with constant effort in each site. Specimens that are caught in pan traps are washed, pinned, and identified to species, when possible. Bee communities in the two habitat types will be analyzed by comparing species abundances and diversity indices.
I am spending my summer at Union College working on my bee collections. Then I will work on identifications and writing my thesis in the fall and winter. I am so excited about my project and hope to gain impactful knowledge about bee communities.
APBPC. (2017). Management Plan and Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Albany Pine Bush Preserve Update. Albany, NY.
Kopec, K., & Burd, L. A. (2017). Pollinators in Peril: A systematic status review of North American and Hawaiian native bees (pp. 1-14, Rep.). Center for Biological Diversity.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (2017, March 20). Rusty Patched Bumble Bee (Bombus affinis). Retrieved May 10, 2017, from https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/insects/rpbb/