Presentation on theme: "LASI Outreach Flower Visitors By Scott Dwyer and Dr Karin Alton November 2013."— Presentation transcript:
LASI Outreach Flower Visitors By Scott Dwyer and Dr Karin Alton November 2013
Honey bees A honey bee ( Apis Melifera ) belongs to the order Hymenoptera, which is the order all social insects in the UK belong too. They produce honey and pollinate flowers and they are worth around £1bn in relation to the food they pollinate. Honey bees are kept by beekeepers, and they live in colonies which have a Queen, Workers and Drones. Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/autumnwatch/features/honeybees.shtmlhttp://www.bbc.co.uk/autumnwatch/features/honeybees.shtml
Honey bee Castes Image: Zach Huang Worker Drone Queen Numbers in a hive: Workers: 20 to 60,000 Queen: 1 Drones: 100 – 300 drones in the summer
hello Honey bee life cycle WorkerQueenDrone Open cell Egg333 Larva657 Sealed cell Larva/pr o-pupa 324 Pupa9610 Total211624 Image: Climate Kids, NASA Development times
Duties of the worker bee Worker bee housekeeping (the worker bee is 1 to 3 days old) Worker bee housekeeping (the worker bee is 1 to 3 days old) Removal of dead workers from the hive (days 3 to 16) Removal of dead workers from the hive (days 3 to 16) Nursing young worker bees (days 4 to 12) Nursing young worker bees (days 4 to 12) Attending to the queen bee (days 7 to 12) Attending to the queen bee (days 7 to 12) Collecting nectar, pollen and water for the hive from returning foragers (days 12 to 18) Collecting nectar, pollen and water for the hive from returning foragers (days 12 to 18) Fanning the beehive (days 12 to 18) Fanning the beehive (days 12 to 18) Making wax comb (days 12 to 35) Making wax comb (days 12 to 35) Guarding the hive (days 18 to 21) Guarding the hive (days 18 to 21) Becoming foragers (days 22 to 42) - Death Becoming foragers (days 22 to 42) - Death
Waggle dance http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p007vgtw Honey bees tell their nest mates where to find a good source of food. This is known as the Waggle Dance. Karl von Frisch spent his entire life studying bees and won a Nobel Prize in 1973 for his research on that subject. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B4D6WGmXTLQ Photo: Christoph Gruter Two videos to watch
Why are bees important to us? Food Bees and other insects pollinate a lot of the food we consume. This includes a large amount of the food we eat daily at breakfast such as jams, marmalade, fresh fruits, coffee and so on. They also pollinate many of our vegetables, for instance onions, cauliflower and broccoli, so that we can sow the seeds for next years crop.
Bumblebees Bumblebees are larger and more rotund and colorful than honey bees, and will not sting unless severely agitated. There are around 25 species in the UK. They have a deep buzz and are a familiar sight in summer in both cities and the countryside. In spring, a bumblebee colony is founded by a queen, that has overwintered, she lays eggs that become workers. Firstly, she lays a lot of workers before she eventually lays males and young queens, who leave the nest and mate.
The life cycle of the bumblebee
Bombus terrestris Bombus lapidarius Bombus pascuorum Bombus monticola Bombus hypnorum Bombus pratorum Common bumblebee species (UK)
Cuckoo bumblebees Cuckoo bumblebees are members are the subgenus Psithyrus, they look very much like true bumblebees and still belong to the same genus Bombus. Unlike bumblebees there are no worker castes, or queens, just males or females. The cuckoo bees enter a bumblebee nest and kills the bumblebee queen and she lays her eggs and then the cuckoo larvae are raised in the nest of the true bumblebee species.
Example of cuckoo bumblebees The bumblebee Bombus vestalis (top left) is a cuckoo which has very similar colourings to its host bumblebee Bombus terrestris (bottom left). The bumblebee Bombus vestalis (top left) is a cuckoo which has very similar colourings to its host bumblebee Bombus terrestris (bottom left).
Solitary Bees There are around 200 species in the UK, unlike honey bees and bumblebees they do not live in colonies. The first solitary bees appear in March, and these are miner bees ( Andrena). They look similar to honeybees, yet lack pollen baskets. They make their nests in the ground, in sandy soil and along paths. The female digs the nest and stocks it with nectar and pollen and seals it and then leaves the young to fend for themselves. Image: wildaboutbritain
Butterflies A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect, they belong to the order Lepidoptera, which also includes moths. A butterfly is a mainly day-flying insect, they belong to the order Lepidoptera, which also includes moths. Their lifecycle consists of four parts; egg, larva, crystalis (pupa), adult. Their lifecycle consists of four parts; egg, larva, crystalis (pupa), adult. Butterflies can vary, such as polymorphism (where there is more than one colour of the same species), sexual dimorphism and seasonal morphism and geographical morphism. Butterflies can vary, such as polymorphism (where there is more than one colour of the same species), sexual dimorphism and seasonal morphism and geographical morphism.
Butterfly Anatomy The butterfly pollinates flowers by pollen being transferred onto its legs and body. The butterfly pollinates flowers by pollen being transferred onto its legs and body. The butterfly has a long proboscis which it uses to collect nectar. The butterfly has a long proboscis which it uses to collect nectar. Image: www.theanimalfiles.com
Butterfly species (UK) Red admiral Vanessa atalanta Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus Heath Fritillary Melitaea athalia Large Blue Glaucopsyche arion Wood White Leptidea sinapis
The Large Blue butterfly went extinct in the UK and was reintroduced from a Swedish population. The butterfly is a parasitic on the grubs of the red ant, Myrmica sabuleti. Management of grassland sites to keep sward height at optimum levels for the red ant, Myrmica sabuleti has enabled the successful re- introduction of a previously extinct species in the UK Conservation of Large Blue Image: Richard Lewington
Hoverflies Hoverflies There are more than 250 species of hoverfly. They are a type of fly and belong to the order Diptera. They are skillful flyers and can reach bursts of speed of up to 40km/h. Many hoverflies mimic wasps in colouration, this is called a Batesian mimicry, where a harmless species mimics a dangerous one, to gain protection from predation of visual searching natural enemies. There are also hoverflies that mimic bumblebees and the honey bee. Photo: Alex Wild
Life cycle of a hoverfly Image:http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artmay07/cd-hoverflies.html
Example of mimicry Here is one example of a wasp mimic hoverfly, on the left is the Common Wasp, ( Paravespula vulgris ) and on the right is the Hover Fly (Chrysotoxum cautum - female) http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artmay07/cd-hoverflies.html
Flies are very common. These are not social insects. There are more than 120,000 species of flies worldwide. Most flies live an average of 21 days and take on various shapes throughout their short lives. The larvae of the flies are sometimes called maggots. Other flies There are many types of flies that visit flowers for food such as this green bottle fly (top) and the noon fly (right). Some live on a varied diet of dead animal flesh, animal faeces as well as feeding on nectar and pollen.
Beetles Some beetles also visit flowers for food. Beetles belong to the order Coleoptera, which includes weevils and ladybirds. Many beetles are omnivores and eat both plants and animals. There are over 400,000 species worldwide. This is a group of pollen beetles (left) and this is a soldier beetle (right).
Summary Flower visitors include : Flower visitors include : Honey bees Honey bees Bumblebees Bumblebees Solitary bees Solitary bees Butterflies Butterflies Hoverflies Hoverflies Other flies Other flies Beetles Beetles Honey bee drinking nectar. Photo: John Kimbler