• Survey Of Bombus Species (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Near Agricultural Lands In Interior Alaska

      Pampell, Rehanon; Holloway, Patricia; Knight, Charles; Sikes, Derek; Pantoja, Alberto (2010)
      Major world pollinators include bees, beetles, flies, butterflies, birds and bats, all of which help pollinate over 75% of Earth's flowering plant species and nearly 75% of the crops. In arctic and subarctic regions, bumble bees are considered important pollinators; however, immediate concerns involving climate change, colony collapse disorders in honey bees, and lack of faunistic insect studies in Alaska emphasize the need to study bumble bees in interior Alaska. I identified seventeen species of bumble bees from three localities: Delta Junction, Fairbanks, and Palmer, Alaska. Not all species were recovered from all localities and species richness and relative abundance varied by years. Delta Junction displayed the highest relative bumble bee abundance representing approximately 50% of the overall total of bumble bees collected during the two year study. Overall, the most common bumble bees near agricultural lands were B. centralis, B. frigidus , B. jonellus, B. melanopygus, B. mixtus, and B. occidentalis. Their populations and local diversity were highly variable from year to year. A species believed to be in decline in the Pacific North West states, B. occidentalis , was collected in relative abundance up to 13.5%; this species was collected from the three sites studied. Preliminary data indicates that bumble bees were found to be infected by Nosema and nematodes with infection rates up to 12.5 and 16.7% for Nosema and nematodes respectively. Of the eight species infected by parasites, B. occidentalis displayed the highest Nosema infection, while B. centralis was the species with the highest infection of nematodes.