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Wild bee foraging abundance on native sunflower Helianthus annuus L. versus Helianthus cultivar sunflowers in an urban habitat

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Through the months September-November of 2017 a study was conducted to determine if bees prefer the sunflower, Helianthus annuus, native to Arizona, or a cultivar Helianthus sunflower in an urban environment. The study was executed in a small, controlled urban

Through the months September-November of 2017 a study was conducted to determine if bees prefer the sunflower, Helianthus annuus, native to Arizona, or a cultivar Helianthus sunflower in an urban environment. The study was executed in a small, controlled urban environment on Arizona State University West campus. Seven identified bee species and forty-nine specimens were collected, of the forty-nine specimens, two bees were reported on the Helianthus cultivar supporting native floral host preferences of native species. Variables such as nectar, pollen, floral color, and floral height were not measured, however, when the floral host genus was maintained wild bees visited the native Helianthus host significantly more yielding a supportive two-tailed p-value of 2.97x10-5. Three trends were identified in correlation with the experiment: 1) Bees foraged on native Helianthus annuus over the Helianthus cultivar, 2) Generalist species were more abundant than specialists on the Helianthus annuus, 3) Honey bees (Apis mellifera) were the most abundant species present. While not considered a trend, low floral diversity and abundance may explain the low diversity of bee species observed on the Helianthus. Floral host and pollinator desynchronization may also have affected bee diversity and abundance. Analysis of bee abundance and diversity support that wild bees may prefer native floral hosts over cultivar floral hosts when the floral genus, temperature, and time was controlled for in an urban environment.

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2018-12

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Foraging Behavior in Native and Non-Native Bee Species at the Desert Botanical Garden

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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

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.

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2018-12

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Variance in bee species richness: seasonal, spatial, and temporal differences

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Bee communities form the keystone of many ecosystems through their pollination services. They are dynamic and often subject to significant changes due to several different factors such as climate, urban development, and other anthropogenic disturbances. As a result, the world

Bee communities form the keystone of many ecosystems through their pollination services. They are dynamic and often subject to significant changes due to several different factors such as climate, urban development, and other anthropogenic disturbances. As a result, the world has been experiencing a decline in bee diversity and abundance, which can have detrimental effects in the ecosystems they inhabit. One of the largest factors that impacts bees in today's world is the rapid urbanization of our planet, and it impacts the bee community in mixed ways. Not very much is understood about the bee communities that exist in urban habitats, but as urbanization is inevitably going to continue, knowledge on bee communities will need to strengthen. This study aims to determine the levels of variance in bee communities, considering multiple variables that bee communities can differ in. The following three questions are posed: do bee communities that are spatially separated differ significantly? Do bee communities that are separated by seasons differ significantly? Do bee communities that are separated temporally (by year, interannually) differ significantly? The procedure to conduct this experiment consists of netting and trapping bees at two sites at various times using the same methods. The data is then statistically analyzed for differences in abundance, richness, diversity, and species composition. After performing the various statistical analyses, it has been discovered that bee communities that are spatially separated, seasonally separated, or interannually separated do not differ significantly when it comes to abundance and richness. Spatially separated bee communities and interannually separated bee communities show a moderate level of dissimilarity in their species composition, while seasonally separated bee communities show a greater level of dissimilarity in species composition. Finally, seasonally separated bee communities demonstrate the greatest disparity of bee diversity, while interannually separated bee communities show the least disparity of bee diversity. This study was conducted over the time span of two years, and while the levels of variance of an urban area between these variables were determined, further variance studies of greater length or larger areas should be conducted to increase the currently limited knowledge of bee communities in urban areas. Additional studies on precipitation amounts and their effects on bee communities should be conducted, and studies from other regions should be taken into consideration while attempting to understand what is likely the most environmentally significant group of insects.

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2017-05

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Associative Recognition of Odor Stimuli Variance and a Proposal to Test This in Odor Experience Restricted Honey Bees

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Recent data suggests that olfactory input is important for antennal lobe development in honey bees. Chronic association of a single odor to food resources during crucial stages of development results in delayed antennal lobe development for mature foraging bees. The

Recent data suggests that olfactory input is important for antennal lobe development in honey bees. Chronic association of a single odor to food resources during crucial stages of development results in delayed antennal lobe development for mature foraging bees. The antennal lobes of these bees instead closely resemble an immature network observed in young, newly emerged bees. Using an odor stimuli variance assay, learning and memory tests can be used to explore how well honey bees discriminate single odors within complex odor mixtures. Here we are validating two different odor mixtures, a Brassica rapa floral blend and a second replicate mixture composed of common molecularly dissimilar odors. Odors in each mixture are either held constant or varied in concentration over 16 conditioning trials. Subsequent memory tests are performed two hours later to observe the ability of bees to distinguish and recognize specific odor components in each mixture. So far in our assay we find high rates of generalization for both odor mixtures. In general, more bees responded to all odors in the replicate treatment group over the Brassica treatment group. Additionally, bees in the Brassica treatment group did not respond to the target odor. More data is being collected to validate this assay. In future studies, I propose to apply this behavioral assay to bees with an altered olfactory developmental in order to see the functional impacts of this chronic odor association treatment.

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2017-05

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Urban Apiculture: An Exploration of City Beekeeping and Colony Collapse Disorder

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This paper explores two areas of study: Colony Collapse Disorder and urban apiculture--the practice of keeping bees in urban areas. Additionally, this paper discusses the ways in which Colony Collapse Disorder has encouraged an increase in urban beekeeping, and the

This paper explores two areas of study: Colony Collapse Disorder and urban apiculture--the practice of keeping bees in urban areas. Additionally, this paper discusses the ways in which Colony Collapse Disorder has encouraged an increase in urban beekeeping, and the possible role of urban apiculture as a means of combatting the negative effects of Colony Collapse Disorder. The symptoms, history, and possible causes of Colony Collapse Disorder are presented, as well as the important role that honey bees play in human agriculture. Following the discussion of Colony Collapse Disorder is a description of my urban beekeeping apprenticeship at Desert Marigold School where I kept bees, researched various hives, attended a beekeeping workshop in Tucson, and eventually built a hive and established a colony with my mentor. This paper includes a guide to beekeeping basics, as well as a guide to starting a hive based upon the lessons learned during my apprenticeship.

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2015-05

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Honey Bee Population Dynamics and Neonicotinoids

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Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are responsible for pollinating nearly 80\% of all pollinated plants, meaning humans depend on honey bees to pollinate many staple crops. The success or failure of a colony is vital to global food production. There are

Honey bees (Apis mellifera) are responsible for pollinating nearly 80\% of all pollinated plants, meaning humans depend on honey bees to pollinate many staple crops. The success or failure of a colony is vital to global food production. There are various complex factors that can contribute to a colony's failure, including pesticides. Neonicotoids are a popular pesticide that have been used in recent times. In this study we concern ourselves with pesticides and its impact on honey bee colonies. Previous investigations that we draw significant inspiration from include Khoury et Al's \emph{A Quantitative Model of Honey Bee Colony Population Dynamics}, Henry et Al's \emph{A Common Pesticide Decreases Foraging Success and Survival in Honey Bees}, and Brown's \emph{ Mathematical Models of Honey Bee Populations: Rapid Population Decline}. In this project we extend a mathematical model to investigate the impact of pesticides on a honey bee colony, with birth rates and death rates being dependent on pesticides, and we see how these death rates influence the growth of a colony. Our studies have found an equilibrium point that depends on pesticides. Trace amounts of pesticide are detrimental as they not only affect death rates, but birth rates as well.

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2016-05