The presence of wild bees and their usage of floral resources in a non-pollinator dependent crop (Solanum tuberosum) with a surrounding forested landscape.

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University of New Brunswick


Bees are the most important and recognized pollinators for plants across the globe, as many plant species are dependent on pollinators for reproduction. Bees in crops that do not require pollination has not been a large area of study, even though wild bees are still present in these ecosystems. Potato is a non-pollinator dependent crop grown for tubers, of which growth is not impacted by pollination. I examined what bees are found in non-pollinator dependent potato agroecosystems and whether these bees are using potato pollen resources. I collected bees in potato fields, field margins and the surrounding forest using blue vane traps and aerial nets. I found 41 species of wild bees, the most common of which were Lasioglossum and Bombus. Bees were abundant in the field margin and agriculture field but were rarely found in the forest. Seven bee species were found to collect potato pollen, but the majority was collected by Bombus impatiens.