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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Logan, Utah » Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #324941

Research Project: Managing and Conserving Diverse Bee Pollinators for Sustainable Crop Production and Wildland Preservation

Location: Pollinating Insect-Biology, Management, Systematics Research

Title: Sampling bee communities using pan traps: alternative methods increase sample size

Author
item Wilson, Joseph - Utah State University
item Jahner, Joshua - University Of Nevada
item Starley, Lisa - Utah State University
item Calvin, Carmelle - Utah State University
item Ikerd, Harold
item Griswold, Terry

Submitted to: Journal of Insect Conservation
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/9/2016
Publication Date: 9/20/2016
Citation: Wilson, J.S., Jahner, J.P., Starley, L., Calvin, C.L., Ikerd, H.W., Griswold, T.L. 2016. Sampling bee communities using pan traps: alternative methods increase sample size. Journal of Insect Conservation. doi:10.1007/s10841-016-9914-6.

Interpretive Summary: Concerns about declines in bees require that we be able to efficiently monitor bee populations. Similarly, determining what species of bees are found in a region requires collecting samples since there are many bee species and they mostly cannot be identified in nature. One effective way of sampling for bees that does not require training is the use of pan traps, bowls of different colors deployed across the area being studied. A number of studies have looked at the effect of bowl color, but we know little about the effect of pan trap size on capture rate, nor do we know the potential effect of painting contrasting lines on the bowls to mimic nectar guides often found in flowers. A study of these factors was conducted in the cold desert of western Utah. Large pan traps captured more bees than medium and small pan traps. Large pan traps also tended to capture more large bees though the difference was not statistically significant. Pan traps with nectar guides captured significantly more bees than those without. Making these changes in sampling would improve our ability to inventory bees and to determine the extent of pollinator declines.

Technical Abstract: Monitoring of the status of bee populations and inventories of bee faunas require systematic sampling. Efficiency and ease of implementation has encouraged the use of pan traps to sample bees. Efforts to find an optimal standardized sampling method for pan traps have focused on pan trap color. There has been little investigation of the effect of pan trap size and the presence of simulated nectar guides on rates of capture. A study of these factors was conducted in the eastern Great Basin, Utah. Large pan traps captured more bees than medium and small pan traps. Large pan traps also tended to capture more large bees though the difference was not statistically significant. Pan traps with nectar guides captured significantly more bees than those without.