Bumblebees in Solar Prairies
Nicolette A. Engelmeier, Grace A. Janszen, Morgan E. Mieland
Bumblebees (Bombus Latreille) are an interest of many ecologists today due to the increasing decline of pollinators. A pollinator, such as the bumblebee, provides a large amount of service to an ecosystem since they aid in the survival and nutrition of plants and animals in their area. The data collected will help to understand if the solar prairie is being used by pollinators in the area and if it is beneficial to their survival. The goal of our research is to study areas in which a bumblebee may hibernate, between man-made or natural areas. We dug 10cm holes near both man-made and natural structures and searched through the soil to look for a singular queen bee. We used natural structures such as trees and plants that would provide protection. Man-made structures that we focused on were fences and mainly the solar panels in the solar prairie. We were not able to find any bumblebees during our search. We believe the main obstacle in our search was due to the warm weather patterns during a typically cold season, which may have caused the bumblebees to come out of hibernation early. As a result of this weather, we began searching for evidence of the bumblebees using the solar prairie as an ecosystem to survive in. We conducted bumblebees patterns of flight and foraging patterns inside of the solar prairie, which is important for the pollination of native plants in the area and the survival of other species in the ecosystem.
Kathleen A. Kargl, Chelse M. Prather
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Life on Land
"Bumblebees in Solar Prairies" (2022). Stander Symposium Projects. 2444.