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Map of average bees per hour for each garden that has contributed. Click on the map and you can zoom in or out! The color codes are: red: No bees seen. pink: 1-10 bees per hour yellow: 10-20 bees per hour blue: 20-30 bees per hour green: over 30 bees per hour
We are noticing that larger gardens have higher pollinator service (average bee visits in an hour) but that even small gardens do well. Community gardens do appear to have really good pollinator service which is important for food production. Sunflowers or other plants in pots have lower rates of visiting but still get some.
Here we notice that the more shady sites (forest) versus less shady (forest edge) have lower rates of visitation. This isn't unexpected because bees avoid shade. Deserts are also well known for their diverse bee communities and that may help explain why gardens in these areas have such high visitation rates. We are not sure how to interpret the low rate of visits in gardens surround by shrublands.
The interesting trend here is the improved pollinator service as we decrease the density of housing. Urban areas have the least pollinator service, rural and wildland areas do best. One of the main factors thought to influence bees is loss of habitat and these data would suggest that may be true. Interestingly, when we looked at this early in the project with much less data, we did not see low pollinator service in urban centers. The more data we can bring to bear on a question, the more robust our results.
How does pollinator service change across a year? This shows us how pollinator visits per hour change across a year. One thing to remember is that we've combined data from all over the US in this graph which means that the peak pollinator time in Florida is probably responsible for some of the high numbers for the early months whereas the peak pollinator time in the Northern states probably contributes more in July and August. The months are represented by numbers here.