INSECT VISITORS AND POTENTIAL POLLINATORS OF LINGONBERRIES, VACCINIUM VITIS-IDAEA SUBSP. MINUS, IN SUB-ARCTIC ALASKA
Flowers of lingonberries were observed at four locations in the Tanana Valley floodplain, Alaska in June and early July 2001. Insect visitors were captured, identified and examined for pollen loads. Visitors included the non-native Apis mellifera, and B. occidentalis, and the native insects: Psithyrus sp., Dolichovespera arenaria, D. norvegicoides, Andrena sp., Bombus sandersonii, B. flavifrons flavifrons, B. frigidus, B. sylvicola, Dialectus sp. (Halictidae), Melangyna sp., ten specimens of Syrphus sp. and other Syrphidae and two moths (Geometridae:Lepidoptera). All visitors except two specimens of Syrphidae and the Geometridae carried lingonberry pollen. Insects with the greatest lingonberry pollen (< 1000 pollen tetrads per insect) were Apis mellifera, Bombus occidentalis, B. sylvicola, B. flavifrons flavifrons, Andrena sp. and Dialectus sp. (Halictidae). Three hives of honey bees, Apis mellifera, and two of bumble bees, Bombus occidentalis, were established in four woodland locations in the Tanana River floodplain. Flowering stems were tagged along two to four transects per hive extending up to 150 m from the hive at each location to learn if honey bees or bumble bees aid in pollination. There was no correlation between fruit set, fruit diameter and weight, filled seeds per fruit and distance from the hive for all transects. This may indicate honey bee and bumble bee colonies do not improve fruit production in wild stands even though they were observed visiting flowers and carrying pollen. It is more likely that the transects occurred in areas with highly variable exposure, cover and flowering abundance, and this diversity masked any effect of the hives.
Davis, A.N., Holloway, P.S. and Kruse, J.J. (2003). INSECT VISITORS AND POTENTIAL POLLINATORS OF LINGONBERRIES, VACCINIUM VITIS-IDAEA SUBSP. MINUS, IN SUB-ARCTIC ALASKA. Acta Hortic. 626, 433-438
pollination, honey bees, bumble bees, Apis, Bombus