CSI pollen : diversity of honey bee collected pollen studied by citizen scientists

Brodschneider, Robert and Kalcher-Sommersguter, Elfriede and Kuchling, Sabrina and Dietemann, Vincent and Gray, Alison and Božič, Janko and Briedis, Andrejs and Carreck, Norman L. and Chlebo, Robert and Crailsheim, Karl and Coffey, Mary Frances and Dahle, Bjørn and González-Porto, Amelia Virginia and Filipi, Janja and de Graaf, Dirk C. and Hatjina, Fani and Ioannidis, Pavlos and Ion, Nicoleta and Jørgensen, Asger Søgaard and Kristiansen, Preben and Lecocq, Antoine and Odoux, Jean-François and Özkirim, Asli and Peterson, Magnus and Podrižnik, Blaž and Rašić, Slađan and Retschnig, Gina and Schiesser, Aygün and Tosi, Simone and Vejsnæs, Flemming and Williams, Geoffrey and van der Steen, Jozef J.M. (2021) CSI pollen : diversity of honey bee collected pollen studied by citizen scientists. Insects, 12 (11). 987. ISSN 2075-4450

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    A diverse supply of pollen is an important factor for honey bee health, but information about the pollen diversity available to colonies at the landscape scale is largely missing. In this COLOSS study, beekeeper citizen scientists sampled and analyzed the diversity of pollen collected by honey bee colonies. As a simple measure of diversity, beekeepers determined the number of colors found in pollen samples that were collected in a coordinated and standardized way. Altogether, 750 beekeepers from 28 different regions from 24 countries participated in the two-year study and collected and analyzed almost 18,000 pollen samples. Pollen samples contained approximately six different colors in total throughout the sampling period, of which four colors were abundant. We ran generalized linear mixed models to test for possible effects of diverse factors such as collection, i.e., whether a minimum amount of pollen was collected or not, and habitat type on the number of colors found in pollen samples. To identify habitat effects on pollen diversity, beekeepers’ descriptions of the surrounding landscape and CORINE land cover classes were investigated in two different models, which both showed that both the total number and the rare number of colors in pollen samples were positively affected by ‘urban’ habitats or ‘artificial surfaces’, respectively. This citizen science study underlines the importance of the habitat for pollen diversity for bees and suggests higher diversity in urban areas.

    ORCID iDs

    Brodschneider, Robert, Kalcher-Sommersguter, Elfriede, Kuchling, Sabrina, Dietemann, Vincent, Gray, Alison ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6273-0637, Božič, Janko, Briedis, Andrejs, Carreck, Norman L., Chlebo, Robert, Crailsheim, Karl, Coffey, Mary Frances, Dahle, Bjørn, González-Porto, Amelia Virginia, Filipi, Janja, de Graaf, Dirk C., Hatjina, Fani, Ioannidis, Pavlos, Ion, Nicoleta, Jørgensen, Asger Søgaard, Kristiansen, Preben, Lecocq, Antoine, Odoux, Jean-François, Özkirim, Asli, Peterson, Magnus, Podrižnik, Blaž, Rašić, Slađan, Retschnig, Gina, Schiesser, Aygün, Tosi, Simone, Vejsnæs, Flemming, Williams, Geoffrey and van der Steen, Jozef J.M.;