Wild bees are an indispensable part of neotropical ecosystems because of their role in agriculture and native flora pollination. Despite their importance, wild bees are threatened throughout their distribution by pesticides, habitat loss, land use change and climate change. The objective of this study was to understand how to better manage agroforestry systems for wild bees by asking if wild bee abundance is influenced by the level of shade cover, agroforest type, the number or diversity of floral resources, tree diversity, and the density of trees in an agroforest. A total of 10 agroforests were selected in San Luis de Monteverde, Costa Rica. Bees were collected three times in each agroforest between June-July 2022. The statistical program R was used to conduct all statistical analyses. A total of 3,135 bees were collected: 1,833 from coffee agroforests and 1,302 from silvopasture. No statistical significance was found between any of the variables. Our findings may be due to (1) the agroforests were small (1 hectare) and embedded in a forest matrix, (2) we have not yet analyzed species richness and data was collected to emphasize differences in species richness, (3) 2022 was a La Nina year, with poor weather conditions during the study period for wild bees. This study indicated that both coffee agroforests and silvopastoral systems can host many economically important bees. Specimens will be identified to species and further analyzed to understand if any agroforestry management practices are related to wild bee richness or community composition.
Semester/Year of Award
Valerie E. Peters
Mentor Department Affiliation
Restricted Access Thesis
Cardona, Elijah C., "Defining Best Management Practices for Bee Conservation in Agroforestry Systems" (2022). Honors Theses. 922.