1690 Bumblebee species from interior Alaska

Wednesday, December 15, 2010: 2:51 PM
Sheffield (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Alberto Pantoja , Agricultural Research Service,, USDA - ARS, Peoria, IL
Rehanon Pampell , Agricultural Research Service, Subarctic Agricultural Research Unit, USDA, Fairbanks, AK
With recent losses of managed honey bee colonies nationwide, Alaskan growers renewed their interest in native pollinators. However little is known about pollinators associated to Alaska agricultural systems. Unpublished thesis at the University of Alaska Fairbanks indicates the presence of several species of pollinators including bumblebees. However no comprehensive, long term study is available on the species composition and seasonality of bumblebees from the main agricultural areas of Alaska. This research was initiated to study the species composition, distribution, and seasonal abundance of the tribe Bombini from Fairbanks, Alaska (N64.85°, W147.85°). Bumble bees were collected with blue vane traps (SringStar Inc) from agricultural areas and the Georgeson Botanical Garden near Fairbanks. Sampling dates were April 27, 2009 to 16 September 2009. A total of 4,219 specimens representing fourteen Bombus species, B. bifarius, B. borealis, B. centralis, B. fernaldae, B. flavifrons, B. frigidus, B. insularis, B. jonellus, B. melanopygus, B. mixtus, B. moderatus, B. occidentalis, B. perplexus, and B. sylvicola were collected during 2009. The most abundant species were B. perplexus and B. jonellus representing 21 and 19 percent of the total of specimens collected respectively. The presence of B. occidentalis, reported as declining in the Pacific-west states, was recorded from Fairbanks, representing 10percent of the specimens collected. To our knowledge this represents the first long term survey of bumblebees associated to agricultural settings in Alaska. Additional research is under way to identify the species present at other agricultural areas of Alaska.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.48909