Is urban farming the bee's knees? A socio-ecological study on the effect of pollinator recruitment methods on pollinator communities in urban agriculture
Background/Questions/Methods:Pollinators are essential to agriculture and with the increase in urban farming, there is great concern regarding insect pollinators in urban spaces. While there has been extensive literature looking at bee abundance and biodiversity in urban environments, there has been little research studying the efficacy of currently utilized pollinator recruitment practices in urban agricultural systems. In Dayton, Ohio, and the surrounding area 15 urban agricultural sites will be sampled for insect pollinator activity utilizing timed observations, pan traps, and passive netting. In addition to traditional methods of looking at pollinator activity, an important component of this research includes a sociological study that looks at the farmers themselves and how their efforts may be affecting the pollinator activity observed on their agricultural plots. To examine this relationship, we conducted an electronic survey and one-on-one interviews with each of the farmers in addition to our biological sampling. Results:Our results suggest that the most effective pollinator recruitment methods include ones where resources are stable and pollinators are able to actively rely on resources such as food, water, or shelter at these locations. The pollinator activity level seemed to depend not only on the pollinator recruitment methods utilized but also on the surrounding area with water being the resource that attracts the most pollinator activity. When choosing recruitment methods, farmers who are interested in insect pollinator behavior and put effort into attracting them to their property use science-based methods in addition to methods promoted by anecdotal evidence. These farmers tend to see higher pollinator activity than farmers who are less interested in insect pollinators and put in little effort to attract pollinators utilizing methods that are less effective. By implementing recruitment methods that are effective, insect pollinator activity can be promoted in an urban agricultural setting.
Chelse Prather, Anya Galli Robertson
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
Institutional Learning Goals
Critical Evaluation of Our Times; Community; Practical Wisdom
"Is urban farming the bee's knees? A socio-ecological study on the effect of pollinator recruitment methods on pollinator communities in urban agriculture" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 2883.