Southeastern pollination studies
Anderson, Athena Rayne
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Pollinators are important to the human food supply and maintenance of healthy ecosystems. This dissertation explores the life history of two pollinating bee groups in the southeastern USA, and the use of social media for educating the public about pollinators. In the first chapter, the author examined the pollen preference of bees in the genus Svastra, and found that they carried only sunflower pollen (Helianthus) in Georgia. Implications for use of these bees in commercial sunflower production is discussed. In the second chapter, the author recorded the seasonal activity patterns of bumble bees (Bombus) in Georgia. Six bumble bee species were detected, with phenologies that differed across sites, years, and species. Phenological shifts between bees in this study and conspecifics studied in Canada are discussed, as well as suggestions for future research. In the final chapter, the author demonstrated the benefit of integrating several social media platforms on a website about pollinators. The author discusses the ease and benefits of using social media in outreach programs.