0619 A seasonal survey of native pollinator species diversity and abundances in four North Georgia apple orchards, with emphasis from pre- through post-bloom

Monday, December 13, 2010: 9:26 AM
Pacific, Salon 1 (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Nicholas G. Stewart , Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA
Mark A. Schlueter , Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, GA
Recent concerns over Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) in Nearctic European Honeybee (Apis mellifera L.) populations have prompted a fervor of interest in research tasked to identify endemic insect pollinators which could replace or supplement the dwindling Apid. In this study, four apple orchards in North Georgia were sampled from early-March through October to determine which pollinator species were both periodically and persistently present, and in what densities. Domesticated apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.)have an earlier flowering period than many other commercial agricultural crops in Georgia, with serious implications to which species are available for pollination. In March, prior to the bloom, native pollinator species are present at low initial numbers, marginally increasing until the first blossoms open in early April. Upon flowering, both the diversity and abundances of native pollinator species explode, especially in Apoidea. While calyptrate Dipteran genera were consistently diverse and abundant throughout the study, it was in Hymenoptera where the greatest variations from pre- through post-bloom were observed. Overall, Andrenids and Apids proved to be the most prevalent of all native bee taxa from before and during the bloom, while many Halictid species steadily increased over the same period, maximizing well after the last apple blossoms had dropped. Syrphids were present during the bloom, but like Halictids, only became abundant later in the season. Butterflies were present, but never in significant numbers. Overall, the most abundant native pollinators available during the apple bloom were bees in the Andrenidae Family.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.50897