Movement patterns of solitary bees in a threatened fragmented habitat
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- Dorchin, A., Filin, I., Izhaki, I. et al. Apidologie (2013) 44: 90. doi:10.1007/s13592-012-0159-4
Fragmentation and loss of natural habitats are major threats to many bee species. Large, long-distance flying bees are predicted to be more efficient in utilizing resources and at the same time may function as important pollinators in a fragmented landscape. Using mark-recapture experiments, this study evaluates the movement of bees belonging to the “large, long-tongue” guild in a threatened, fragmented habitat. Bee movement between the sampling plots was limited, despite high recapture proportions within the plots. A maximum likelihood model has estimated a high degree (60 % of all marked bees) of site fidelity to the source plots and a mean traveling distance of 357 m for the bees that left the plots. Additional observations on the bees’ foraging behavior suggest that some anthophorine bee species can be important pollinators in the studied habitat. We suggest that the bees’ site fidelity and flower constancy are the main causes for their observed conservative movement pattern.