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Tuesday, February 7 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Technical Session. How Do Nectar Quality, Pollen Quality, and Flower Abundance Influence Pollen Collection of Bumblebees (Bombus spp.) in Northern Virginia?

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AUTHORS: Preston Thompson, Bowling Green State University

ABSTRACT: Abstract
Bumblebees collect pollen, which contains protein and lipids, for larvae production. Bumblebees also drink nectar, which contains sugar, to increase energy levels. We asked the questions 1) How do plants vary in pollen rewards? 2) How do plants vary in nectar rewards? and 3) How do rewards affect pollen collection? We analyzed data from a previous study on B. impatiens and B. griseocollis. For our study we collected pollen from Verbascum thapsis, Securigra varia, Carduus acanthoides and Solanum carolinense. We also collected nectar for Nepeta cataria, Carduus acanthoides and Asclepias syriaca. We analyzed the amount of pollen produced per flower and the amount of protein produced per flower for each species of interest. Verbascum, Carduus and Solanum had relatively high amounts of pollen per flower compared to Securigera. Carduus contained the highest amount of protein per flower while Solanum and Securigera contained the lowest amount of protein per flower. Our results conclude Asclepias had the most nectar volume per flower compared to Carduus and Nepeta. Asclepias had the highest sugar mass compared to Carduus and Nepeta. Asclepias had the most nectar produced per plant compared to Carduus and Nepeta. Asclepias had the most total sugar produced per plant. Our results conclude B. impatiens went to flowers with high protein but were less abundant, while B. griseocollis went to flowers with low amounts of protein but were more abundant.

Tuesday February 7, 2017 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST