You are here
Patterns of Pollination Services by Apis mellifera in Agroecosystems
Pollination services provided by honey bees, Apis mellifera, for agroecosystems have an impact on the agricultural economy. The study aimed to analyze the frequency of A. mellifera in relation to temperature and distance from a rosemary bush, Rosmarinus officinalis. I hypothesized that a higher honey bee abundance would occur at higher temperatures and at close proximity to R. officinalis. Ten rows were randomly sampled on the Randy Blackwell Furman Farm on the Furman University campus in Greenville, South Carolina. Each row contained a single crop and was 0.80 meters apart. Observations were conducted between two and four o’clock for five weeks during the months of March and April of 2013. Honey bees were only counted if they landed within the row. There was a lack of evidence indicating a relationship between temperature and honey bee count, indicating a possible mismatch between pollinators such as A. mellifera and plant species as a consequence of phenological shifts. There was a correlation between temperature and observation date, which resulted in higher temperatures for observation dates during April 2013. Inspections revealed a significant negative linear relationship between honey bee count and distance; indicating that rows in close proximity to R. officinalis experienced a greater abundance of honey bees. These results suggest that the relationship between A. mellifera and flowering plants provide both ecosystem services and economic incentives to farmers such as better crop quality and increased crop yield.