Native bees in Wisconsin cranberries

What roles do fungi play in pollen preservation? Are bees fungivores?

Current reBombusLF_2010-on-cran-LFennersearch:

  • Objective 1: Assess incidence and magnitude of omnivory among native bees using isotopic and phospholipid analyses of bee groups.
  • Objective 2: Determine mechanism(s) by which fungicides may hurt native bee populations.

megachile.addenda.head

agapostemon.texanus.lat.hab

Key questions:

  1. Do larval bees eat significant amounts of fungi during development?
  2. Do fungi in pollen provisions inhibit bacterial growth?
  3. When fungicides are applied to flowers, does the incidence of entombed pollen increase?
  4. Can larval bees develop on entombed pollen?

bee-collection

Photo credits:  A. Higgins bees under microscope, L. Fenner bumble bee visiting cranberry