Abstract Detail

Recent Topics Posters

Anderson , Nicholas Val [1], Petersen, Steve [1], Johnson, Robert [2], Allphin, Loreen [3], Anderson, Val [1].

Commercial Honeybee Impact on Native Pollinating Communities in High Mountain Ecosystems.

In an effort to provide honeybees with quality off-season range, beekeepers are filing for government permits to use natural lands as summer pasture for honeybees under the multiple use management regime implemented on public lands in the United States. Utilizing natural landscapes in high mountain ranges may help strengthen honeybee colonies, as this natural setting contains vast floral resources and is generally void of chemical pollutants and pesticides that are found in agricultural and urban settings. The introduction of a competitive species could, however, greatly impact the native species occupying these natural landscapes. While honeybees and native pollinators have different life histories, behavior, and foraging strategies, they all compete for the same floral resources. Few studies have focused on the population- and community-level effects of commercial honeybees on native pollinator abundance and diversity. This study attempts to observe this impact through an experimental before-after control-impact (BACI) design. The focal pollinator groups of this study included bees, butterflies, hoverflies, and bee flies. Malaise traps were used to collect specimens over three years in alpine and subalpine tall forb communities across the Wasatch Plateau, Sanpete County, Utah. After establishing a one-year baseline of pollinator abundance and richness, honeybee hives were placed in sets of 60 boxes within the treatment area at 4 mile intervals and monitored for the subsequent two years. Overall trends showed similar patterns between control and honeybee treated areas across all pollinating groups. No measurable impact could be detected between honeybee and non-honeybee trapping locations over the three year study. This lack of evidence suggests that, although these cultivated and native pollinators compete for the same resources, by utilizing conservative stocking rates, the presumed impacts of this introduced competitor may be diluted across the landscape in resource rich environments. These results further indicate that there may be an abundance of resources beyond the needs of native pollinators that can be utilized by honeybees in some high mountain ecosystems.

1 - Brigham Young Univeristy, Plant and Wildlife Sciences, 4105 LSB, Provo, UT, 84602, USA
2 - Brigham Young Univeristy, Biology, 3115A MLBM, Provo, 84602, USA
3 - Brigham Young University, Department Of Plant And Wildlife Sciences, Byu,dept Plant And Wildlife Sciences, 4105 LSB, Provo, UT, 84602, United States


Presentation Type: Recent Topics Poster
Number: PRT017
Abstract ID:1323
Candidate for Awards:None

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