Title

IMPACTS OF SPOTTED KNAPWEED ON NATIVE BEE POPULATIONS OF WESTERN MONTANA

Presenter Information

Marisha Richardson

Presentation Type

Poster

Abstract

We compared native bees visiting native flowering plants in areas greatly impacted by spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) with visiting rates of native bees in areas containing native flowers not greatly impacted with spotted knapweed in three sites in Western Montana in late summer. Recent decline of bee populations makes it vital to study all aspects of the ecosystem that may effect bee populations. Although spotted knapweed has been shown to be beneficial to honey bees ( Aphis mellifera), little is known about what effects large knapweed patches, which out compete native flora, have on native bees. Three sites were sampled using pan traps, sweep netting, and observational counting. Sites infested with spotted knapweed had higher counts of honey bees and bumble bees and low to no native bees collected and observed on their florets. Contrarily, sites with high numbers of native flora contained higher numbers of native bees and less numbers of bumble bees and honey bees. These results conclude that spotted knapweed does not benefit native bee populations. These results show cause for concern for our native bee populations.

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Apr 15th, 11:00 AM Apr 15th, 12:00 PM

IMPACTS OF SPOTTED KNAPWEED ON NATIVE BEE POPULATIONS OF WESTERN MONTANA

UC South Ballroom

We compared native bees visiting native flowering plants in areas greatly impacted by spotted knapweed (Centaurea stoebe) with visiting rates of native bees in areas containing native flowers not greatly impacted with spotted knapweed in three sites in Western Montana in late summer. Recent decline of bee populations makes it vital to study all aspects of the ecosystem that may effect bee populations. Although spotted knapweed has been shown to be beneficial to honey bees ( Aphis mellifera), little is known about what effects large knapweed patches, which out compete native flora, have on native bees. Three sites were sampled using pan traps, sweep netting, and observational counting. Sites infested with spotted knapweed had higher counts of honey bees and bumble bees and low to no native bees collected and observed on their florets. Contrarily, sites with high numbers of native flora contained higher numbers of native bees and less numbers of bumble bees and honey bees. These results conclude that spotted knapweed does not benefit native bee populations. These results show cause for concern for our native bee populations.