BEE DIVERSITY AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE BEE POLLINATION SYSTEMS
Location: Pollinating Insects-- Biology, Management and Systematics Research
Title: The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations
Submitted to: Western North American Naturalist
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: January 26, 2010
Publication Date: July 12, 2010
Citation: Wilson, J., Wilson, L.E., Loftis, L.D., Griswold, T.L. 2010. The montane bee fauna of north central Washington, USA, with floral associations. Western North American Naturalist. 70(2):198-207.
Interpretive Summary: Many species of montane plants are dependent on pollinators, mainly native bees. Little is known about the bee pollinators of the mountains of northern Washington and the specific plants they pollinate. Given the concerns about declines in pollinators and the attendant impact on plant reproductive success, a baseline assessment of bees and their plant relationships is of considerable value. A preliminary survey of the bees of the Tonasket Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest discovered a rich array of native bees: 140 species in 24 genera. These pollinators were visiting 57 plant species, with a number of bee species specializing on a single plant genus. Mason bees (Osmia), bumble bees, and ground nesting bees of the genus Andrena were particularly diverse. This study provides the foundation for further exploration into montane pollinators of northern Washington.
The mountains of north central Washington contain a variety of habitat types, from shrub-steppe to high alpine meadows. While native bee surveys of some surrounding areas of the Columbia Basin are fairly complete, little work has been done in this region to document the diversity of bees found therein. A survey of native bees in the Tonasket Ranger District of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest was conducted during the summer of 2004. Collections yielded a diverse bee fauna (140 species in 24 genera) visiting diverse floral elements (57 plant species in 18 families). These preliminary data suggest a rich bee fauna exists in the Okanogan Basin and surrounding mountains.