Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Subcategory: Plant Research
Robin Rayford - Harris Stowe State University
Co-Author(s): David Bogler, Missouri Botanical Garden Bee Diversity in the Vegetable Garden
Bees and other insect pollinators play an important role in food production and security. Honeybee and native bee populations are decreasing due to a variety of factors, including habitat loss, overuse of herbicides and pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and diseases. The purpose of this study was to identify the bees and other insects visiting two separate vegetable garden areas at Missouri Botanical Garden. Bee diversity was measured by setting out blue and yellow ‘Bee Bowls,’ cups containing soapy water. Trapped insects were pinned and identified by local experts. In the Monsanto garden area the most common large bee was the Long-horn Bee (Melissodes bimaculata), and several of small Halictidae – Lasioglossum and Augochlorella. In addition to the bees, there were quite a few wasps, plant-eating beetles, flies, and leaf hoppers. Knowledge of what pollinators are in the garden will help us to design ways to improve their habitat and attract others.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This work was supported by a National Science Foundation HBCU-UP Implementation Grant.
Faculty Advisor: David Bogler, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: The research for this experiment was conducted during the summer of 2016 which took place within two local gardens in the Saint Louis area. I helped with preparing the bee bowls (plastic cup) by filling each bee bowl used with soapy water and placing them in stalks next to various plant species. During the course of time, I frequently visited the site of bee activity in which I had placed the bee traps, collected each bee specimen and at the end of the trial, I was able to meet with a bee expert in order to identify each bee collected.