Oecologia

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 589–596 | Cite as

Bee foraging ranges and their relationship to body size

  • Sarah S. Greenleaf
  • Neal M. Williams
  • Rachael Winfree
  • Claire Kremen
Plant Animal Interactions

Abstract

Bees are the most important pollinator taxon; therefore, understanding the scale at which they forage has important ecological implications and conservation applications. The foraging ranges for most bee species are unknown. Foraging distance information is critical for understanding the scale at which bee populations respond to the landscape, assessing the role of bee pollinators in affecting plant population structure, planning conservation strategies for plants, and designing bee habitat refugia that maintain pollination function for wild and crop plants. We used data from 96 records of 62 bee species to determine whether body size predicts foraging distance. We regressed maximum and typical foraging distances on body size and found highly significant and explanatory nonlinear relationships. We used a second data set to: (1) compare observed reports of foraging distance to the distances predicted by our regression equations and (2) assess the biases inherent to the different techniques that have been used to assess foraging distance. The equations we present can be used to predict foraging distances for many bee species, based on a simple measurement of body size.

Keywords

Body size Foraging distance Apoidea Bee Pollination 

Supplementary material

442_2007_752_MOESM1_ESM.doc (258 kb)
(DOC 239 kb)

References

  1. Axelrod DI (1960) The evolution of flowering plants. In: Tax S (ed) Evolution after Darwin: the evolution of life, vol 1. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
  2. Bacon OG, Burton VE, McSwain JW, Marble VL, Stanger W, Thorp RW (1965) Pollinating alfalfa with leaf-cutting bees (AXT 160). University of California Agricultural Extension Service, Berkeley, CAGoogle Scholar
  3. Bawa KS (1990) Plant–pollinator interactions in tropical rain forests. Annu Rev Ecol Syst 21:299–422Google Scholar
  4. Beekman M, Ratnieks FLW (2000) Long-range foraging by the honey-bee, Apis mellifera L. Funct Ecol 14:490–496Google Scholar
  5. Campbell DR (1985) Pollen and gene dispersal—the influences of competition for pollination. Evolution 39:418–431Google Scholar
  6. Cane JH (1987) Estimation of bee size using intertegular span (Apoidea). J Kans Entomol Soc 60:145–147Google Scholar
  7. Collett TS (1996) Insect navigation en route to the goal: multiple strategies for the use of landmarks. J Exp Biol 199:227–235PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cresswell JE, Osborne JL, Goulson D (2000) An economic model of the limits to foraging range in central place foragers with numerical solutions for bumblebees. Ecol Entomol 25:249–255CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Cunningham SA (2000) Depressed pollination in habitat fragments causes low fruit set. Proc R Soc Lond B 267:1149–1152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Darvill BM, Knight E, Goulson D (2004) Use of genetic markers to quantify bumblebee foraging range and nest density. Oikos 107:471–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dick CW (2001) Genetic rescue of remnant tropical trees by an alien pollinator. Proc R Soc Lond B 268:2391–2396CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dyer FC, Seeley TD (1991) Dance dialects and foraging range in three Asian honey bee species. Behav Ecol Sociobiol 28:227–233CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fabre JH (1914) The mason bees. Dodd, Mead and Co., New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Gary NE, Witherell PC, Marston J (1972) Foraging range and distribution of honey bees used for carrot and onion pollination. Environ Entomol 1:71–78Google Scholar
  15. Gathmann A, Tscharntke T (2002) Foraging ranges of solitary bees. J Anim Ecol 71:757–764CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Greenleaf SS, Kremen C (2006) Wild bee species increase tomato production and respond differently to surrounding land use in Northern California. Biol Conserv 133:81–87CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Greenleaf SS, Kremen C (2006b) Wild bees enhance honey bees’ pollination of hybrid sunflower. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:13890–13895Google Scholar
  18. Harestad AS, Bunnell FL (1979) Home range and body-weight—re-evaluation. Ecology 60:389–402CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Harrison JF, Roberts SP (2000) Flight respiration and energetics. Annu Rev Physiol 62:179–205PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Haskell JP, Ritchie ME, Olff H (2002) Fractal geometry predicts varying body size scaling relationships for mammal and bird home ranges. Nature 418:527–530PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Holling CS (1992) Cross-scale morphology, geometry, and dynamics of ecosystems. Ecol Monogr 62:447–502CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Jenkins SH (1981) Common patterns in home range—body size relationships of birds and mammals. Am Nat 118:126–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Jetz W, Carbone C, Fulford J, Brown JH (2004) The scaling of animal space use. Science 306:266–268PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Judd GJR, Borden JH (1989) Distant olfactory response of the onion fly, Delia antiqua, to host-plant odor in the field. Physiol Entomol 14(4):429–441Google Scholar
  25. Kapyla M (1978) Foraging distance of a small solitary bee, Chelostoma maxillosum (Hymenoptera, Megachilidae). Ann Entomologici Fenn 35:63–64Google Scholar
  26. Kelt DA, Van Vuren DH (2001) The ecology and macroecology of mammalian home range area. Am Nat 157:637–645CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Klein AM, Vaissière B, Cane JH, Steffan-Dewenter I, Cunningham SA, Kremen C, Tscharntke T (2007) Importance of crop pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. Proc R Soc Lond Ser B 274:303–313Google Scholar
  28. Klein AM, Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2003) Fruit set of highland coffee increases with the diversity of pollinating bees. Proc R Soc Lond Ser B 270:955–961CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Klein AM, Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2003) Pollination of Coffea canephora in relation to local and regional agroforestry management. J Appl Ecol 40:837–845CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Knight ME, Martin AP, Bishop S, Osborne JL, Hale RJ, Sanderson A, Goulson D (2005) An interspecific comparison of foraging range and nest density of four bumblebee (Bombus) species. Mol Ecol 14:1811–1820Google Scholar
  31. Kremen C (2005) Managing ecosystem services: what do we need to know about their ecology? Ecol Lett 8:468–479CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Kremen C, Williams NM, Thorp RW (2002) Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 99:16812–16816Google Scholar
  33. Kremen C, Williams NM, Bugg RL, Fay JP, Thorp RW (2004) The area requirements of an ecosystem service, crop pollination. Ecol Lett 7:1109–1119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lennartsson T (2002) Extinction thresholds and disrupted plant-pollinator interactions in fragmented plant populations. Ecology 83:3060–3072Google Scholar
  35. McGregor SE (1976) Insect pollination of cultivated crop plants. US Department of Agriculture, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  36. Makarieva AM, Gorshkov VG, Li B (2005) Why do population density and inverse home range scale differently with body size? Implications for ecosystem stability. Ecol Complexity 2:259–271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. McNab BK (1963) Bioenergetics and the determination of home range size. Am Nat 97:133–140CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Michener CD (1974) The social behavior of the bees, 2nd edn. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  39. Milton K, May ML (1976) Body-weight, diet and home range area in primates. Nature 259:459–462PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Murlis J, Elkinton JS, Carde RT (1992) Odor plumes and how insects use them. Annu Rev Entomol 37:505–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Osborne JL, Clark SJ, Morris RJ (1999) A landscape-scale study of bumble bee foraging range and constancy, using harmonic radar. J Appl Ecol 36:519–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Packer JS (1970) The flight and foraging behavior of the alkali bee (Nomia melanderi) and the alfalfa leaf-cutter bee (Megachile rotundata). Utah State University, Logan, UT, p 119Google Scholar
  43. Quinn GP, Keough MJ (2002) Experimental design and data analysis for biologists. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  44. Rau P (1929) Experimental studies in the homing of carpenter and mining bees. J Comp Psychol 9:35–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ricketts TH (2001) The matrix matters: effective isolation in fragmented landscapes. Am Nat 158:87–99CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Ricketts TH (2004) Tropical forest fragments enhance pollinator activity in nearby coffee crops. Conserv Biol 18:1262–1271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Ritchie ME, Olff H (1999) Spatial scaling laws yield a synthetic theory of biodiversity. Nature 400:557–560PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Robertson DR (1966) Observations on the alfalfa leaf-cutter bee Megachile rotundata at Hodgson, Manitoba in 1966. Proc Entomol Soc Manit 22:34–37Google Scholar
  49. Roland J, Taylor PD (1997) Insect parasitoid species respond to forest structure at different spatial scales. Nature 386:710–713CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Rossel S (1993) Navigation by bees using polarized skylight. Comp Biochem Physiol A 104(4):695–708CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schoener TW (1968) Sizes of feeding territories among birds. Ecology 49:123–141CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Schone H, Kuhme WD (2001) Searching and homing times of displaced honeybees as affected by experience and celestial cues (Hymenoptera : Apidae). Entomol Generalis 25(3):171–180Google Scholar
  53. Sokal RR, Rohlf FJ (1997) Biometry, 3rd edn. WH Freeman, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  54. Southwick EE, Buchmann SL (1995) Effects of horizon landmarks on homing success in honey-bees. Am Nat 146(5):748–776CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Steffan-Dewenter I, Kuhn A (2003) Honeybee foraging in differentially structured landscapes. Proc R Soc Lond Ser B Biol Sci 270:569–575Google Scholar
  56. Turner FB, Jennrich RI, Weintrau JD (1969) Home ranges and body size of lizards. Ecology 50:1076–1081CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Van Nieuwstadt MGL, Iraheta CER (1996) Relation between size and foraging range in stingless bees (Apidae, Meliponinae). Apidologie 27:219–228Google Scholar
  58. Walther-Hellwig K, Frankl R (2000) Foraging distances of Bombus muscorum, Bombus lapidarius, and Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera, Apidae). J Insect Behav 13:239–246Google Scholar
  59. Waser NM, Chittka L, Price MV, Williams NM, Ollerton J (1996) Generalization in pollination systems and why it matters. Ecology 77:1043–1060CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Westphal C, Steffan-Dewenter I, Tscharntke T (2006) Bumblebees experience landscapes at different spatial scales: possible implications for coexistence. Community Ecol 149:289–300Google Scholar
  61. Westrich P (1996) Considering the ecological needs of our native bees and the problems of partial habitats. In: Matheson A, Buchmann SL, O’Toole C, Westrich P, Williams IH (eds) The conservation of bees. Academic, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sarah S. Greenleaf
    • 1
  • Neal M. Williams
    • 2
  • Rachael Winfree
    • 3
  • Claire Kremen
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyBryn Mawr CollegeBryn MawrUSA
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science, Policy and ManagementUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations