Bumble Bees & Blueberry Fields: Landscape Characteristics that Affect Growth of Bombus impatiens Colonies
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Development of bumble bee colonies can be affected by landscape composition and configuration. My study measured relationships between landscape metrics and development of bumble bee Bombus impatiens (Cresson 1863) (Hymenoptera: Apidae) colonies placed for one month near blueberry fields within landscapes that spanned a gradient of natural land coverage. The results showed that proportion of natural land cover did not correlate with colony development, but that landscapes with a greater proportion of abandoned farmland produced larger bumble bee colonies. Colonies varied significantly amongst fields in terms of weight of the hive, brood production, and the dry weight of the workers as well as all castes measured together. Landscape configuration did not correlate with colony growth or reproduction.