Spatial Distribution of Bumblebees Foraging on Two Cultivars of Tomato in a Commercial Greenhouse

Authors: Lefebvre, Diane; Pierre, Jacqueline

Source: Journal of Economic Entomology, Volume 99, Number 5, October 2006 , pp. 1571-1578(8)

Publisher: Entomological Society of America

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The spatial distribution of foraging bumblebees, Bombus terrestris L. (Hymenoptera: Apidae), was studied in a greenhouse planted with two cultivars of tomato, Lycopersicum esculentum Mill. (Solanaceae), in two patches. In both patches, bumblebee densities per square meter were measured on plots, and the results showed that their densities were nearly similar. The densities of available flowers, their pollen production, and availability also were measured. Our results showed that, although the cultivars greatly differed in flower density, flower morphology, and pollen production, their pollen availability (i.e., pollen actually collected by bumblebees per square meter) was approximately the same. Therefore, the mean quantities of pollen collected per bumblebee were similar in each patch. Knowing that bumblebees do not visit different varieties randomly, our results suggest that the major factor affecting the bumblebee distribution among patches was the density of available resource. Results are discussed both from an applied point of view and in relation to the assumptions of the ideal free distribution theory.
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  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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