One can argue that bees are the most unique insects in the animal kingdom due to their invaluable services they provide on a global level. Their importance goes beyond their capability of pollination; it is shown in their environmental impact and maintenance of the world's food supply. It is evident that the bee population is experiencing a serious and rapid decline that has resulted in changes to ecosystems in the past couple of decades. In order to resolve these issues, further research must be conducted to understand what humans can do to benefit their species' longevity. It is necessary for knowledge regarding bees, specifically their foraging behavior, to improve so humans can understand their essentiality to not only them, but the world. The focus of this study is to address any differences in foraging behavior between Apis mellifera, the honey bee, and native bee species. Other questions were answered including: do native and non-native bees have floral host preferences? Do native and non-native bees visit a variety of floral hosts? Experimental procedures were conducted to address these questions, which involved netting bees at differing times in four varying garden locations at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. Then, the preparation of bee pollen and plant pollen slides along with bee mounting was performed. After the completion of data analysis, it was discovered that the preliminary data showed different foraging behavior between native and non-native bee species. Further studies are pertinent in obtaining statistically significant data due to an insufficient sample proportion. This is crucial in understanding the true differences in behaviors between both bee species.
- Foraging Behavior in Native and Non-Native Bee Species at the Desert Botanical Garden