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The diversity and availability of pollen foraged by honey bees across urban and suburban areas in the US varies drastically with the seasons, according to a study published June 12, 2019 in PLOS ONE by Juliana Rangel from Texas A&M University, USA, and colleagues.
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) colonies require a diversity of protein-rich pollen in order to rear healthy brood and ensure colony survival. During certain seasons, insufficient or poor-quality pollen can limit brood nutrition. In this study, the authors investigated the variation in pollen collected by honey bees across developed landscapes in California, Michigan, Florida, and Texas over the seasons of the year.
Authors - Total - Sites - Hives - Locations
The authors tracked a total of 394 sites with at least two hives each in urban and suburban locations across California, Texas, Florida, and Michigan. They placed a pollen trap at each hive entrance, which passively collected pollen from foraging bees, and sampled pollen from the traps in multiple months of 2014 and 2015. The researchers used a light microscope to identify pollen grains to the family, genus, and species level where possible.
The total overall pollen species diversity varied significantly across all four states, with highest diversity in California and lowest diversity in Texas....
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