nena masthead
NENA Home Staff & Editors For Readers For Authors

Effects of Farmland and Seasonal Phenology on Wild Bees in Blueberry Orchards

Sabine S. Nooten1,2, Katherine A. Odanaka1,3, and Sandra M. Rehan1,3,*

1University of New Hampshire, Department of Biological Science, Durham, NH 03824. 2The University of Hong Kong, School of Biological Sciences, Hong Kong. 3York University, Department of Biology, Toronto, ON M3J 1P3, Canada. *Corresponding author.

Northeastern Naturalist, Volume 27, Issue 4 (2020): 841–860

A diverse wild bee fauna can greatly enhance crop yields, but on-going declines in populations of global pollinators may jeopardize food security in the future. Diversity of wild bees in agricultural settings is shaped by a multitude of factors including farming practice, farm size and surrounding land-use type. However, these factors may vary greatly across regions and agricultural systems, making broad generalizations difficult. Therefore, there is a critical need to describe communities of wild bees in relation to farm size and adjacent land-use type. We collected wild bees using pan trapping and sweep netting throughout the summer season. We compared wild bees among 3 blueberry orchards of varying sizes and percentage of adjacent forest margins. We used complementary metrics to characterize the bee fauna at the species and community level including phylogenetic diversity, functional traits, and indicator species. We found that bee diversity and abundance was highest at the smaller orchard, which had more adjacent forest. A particularly depauperate bee fauna was found at the 2 larger orchards with less adjacent forest. Here, the blueberry-associated bee communities differed markedly among the 3 surveyed orchards. The large and medium orchards harbored clustered communities and had almost no parasitic bees. Our results support the notion that environmental filtering by larger agricultural landscapes act on species and functional traits and can lead to community homogenization. Our study provides the first-of-its-kind data for wild bees in New Hampshire’s blueberry orchards. These results can inform farmers about the diversity and pollination services of wild bees and guide implementation of improved management and conservation strategies for the preservation of wild bees in their orchards.

pdf iconDownload Full-text pdf (Accessible only to subscribers. To subscribe click here.)



Access Journal Content

Open access browsing of table of contents and abstract pages. Full text pdfs available for download for subscribers.

Issue-in-Progress: Vol.30 (2) ... early view

Current Issue: Vol. 30(1)
NENA 30(1)

All Regular Issues


Special Issues






JSTOR logoClarivate logoWeb of science logoBioOne logo EbscoHOST logoProQuest logo