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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Booneville, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #387338

Research Project: Sustainable Small Farm and Organic Grass and Forage Production Systems for Livestock and Agroforestry

Location: Dale Bumpers Small Farms Research Center

Title: Color of pan trap influences sampling of bees in livestock pasture ecosystem

item ACHARYA, ROSHANI - University Of Arkansas
item LESLIE, TIMOTHY - Long Island University
item FITTING, EMILY - University Of Maine
item Burke, Joan
item LOFTIN, KELLY - University Of Arkansas
item JOSHI, NEELENDRA - University Of Arkansas

Submitted to: Nature Scientific Reports
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2021
Publication Date: 5/19/2021
Citation: Acharya, R.S., Leslie, T., Fitting, E., Burke, J.M., Loftin, K., Joshi, N.K. 2021. Color of pan trap influences sampling of bees in livestock pasture ecosystem. Nature Scientific Reports. 10(5):445.

Interpretive Summary: Decline of insect pollinators which wholly support our plant food production has increased the importance of accurately monitoring pollinator diversity and abundance over time. Collaborators from the USDA Agricultural Research Service, University of Arkansas, and Long Island University determined differences in color of the vane of a passive form of trap in attracting wild bees; bright blue vane traps attracted the highest rate of bees with the greatest diversity relative to other colors (yellow, purple, red) and that bright compared with dark colors attracted more bees. This enabled scientists to understand species diversity in sampling wild bees in a livestock pasture setting which is important to entomologists, food scientists, environmentalists and ecologists.

Technical Abstract: Wild bees are important pollinators. Different sampling techniques are used to monitor their population dynamics, evaluate species richness and develop conservation protocols. This study was conducted in a livestock pasture ecosystem with the main objective to assess the impact of different vane colors of a passive trap on wild bee sampling. We recorded 2230 bees comprising 49 species, and five families. The most abundant species was Augochlorella aurata (25.8%), followed by Lasioglossum disparile (18.3%), Lasioglossum imitatum (10.85%), Agapostemon texanus (10.8%), Melissodes veroninae (9.9%) and Halictus ligatus (4.7%). Traps with bright blue vanes captured the highest number of bees as well as most diverse bee species compared to the traps with bright yellow, dark blue, dark yellow, and purple vanes, while. Trap with red vanes captured the least diverse bee species. Out of the 49 bee species, only nine were found in all vane color types. Bright blue vanes attracted the greatest number of unique species. Vanes with higher light reflectance properties (within 400-600 nm range) attracted the highest number of bee species. These results suggest that bees respond differently to different light wavelength and reflectivity of vanes of passive traps, and such findings would be helpful in optimizing bee sampling methods.