The response of bumble bees and other native insect pollinators to wildflowers and habitat patch size
Morden, Jacob M.
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Recent research has shown that one approach to conserving native bees in resource-limited habitats is providing them with areas containing native wildflowers that bloom throughout the season. Our study aimed to build upon this knowledge and test the importance of wildflower plot size for supporting bumble bees and the pollination services they provide to the wildflowers. To test this, we measured abundance, richness, and density of native bees at previously established wildflower plots ranging in sizes from 1-100 m2 at the Trevor Nichols Research Center in Fennville, Michigan. Our results concluded the positive attraction of native pollinators to the wildflower plots through an increase in native bee abundance, richness, and density in the wildflower plots. Mature seed counts for female reproduction success alluded to the importance of bees for pollination services over those provided by humans. The most abundant species of bumble bee found within the wildflower plots was identified as Bombus impatiens.