Aarhus University Seal

Where do honeybees forage in an agricultural landscape?

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review

Both wild and managed bees are under pressure from multiple stressors, most notably lack of flowers and nesting habitats, pesticide use and diseases/parasites. In agricultural landscapes a range of different pesticides are used, some of which have adverse effects on bees. Current pesticide risk assessment methods are mostly based on laboratory standard toxicity tests of honeybee individuals, which do not take into account for complexities in the field. To address these challenges, EFSA (the European Food Security Agency) initiated a project: the MUST-B project that aims to combine modelling and experimental/field data for honeybees, in order to assess the effects of multiple stressors in the hive and the surrounding landscape, and to determine their influence on honeybee colony loss and weakening. The core of the project is an individual-based model, which simulates the behaviour and population development of the bees. Hence, a particularly important question is to know where the bees forage in the landscape. In order to investigate this, we carried out a small field study, in which we made simultaneous observations of (1) honeybee waggle dances (indicating direction and distance of resource rich patches in the landscape), (2) large floral resources in a 3 km circle around the experimental hive, and (3) determined botanical composition of pollen collected from returning worker bees. We found that the bees collected pollen from only a few plant species on each observation day. Decoding of honeybee dances gave a good indication of where the bees were foraging, in particular when combined with palynological data, although it was not possible to pinpoint the exact spatial location of resources.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year18 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2018
EventScandinavian Association for Pollination Ecologists - Dublin, Ireland
Duration: 18 Oct 201821 Oct 2018


ConferenceScandinavian Association for Pollination Ecologists

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 139104560