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写的

Tianna Killoran

大学

大学 of Science and Engineering

发布日期

2021年5月19日

More than just the humble honey bee

而在全球拯救蜜蜂运动中,欧洲蜜蜂是最被广泛认可的, Australia has a number of native pollinators also in need of our help.

澳大利亚本土的无刺蜜蜂在为澳大利亚一些最独特的本土植物授粉方面发挥着关键作用, but many of these bees may be under stress from insecticides and warming temperatures. A team of three JCU Science students — 冬青Farnan, 靛蓝斯宾塞, 和Lisl Mohr — are tackling some of these key threats to our precious pollinators.

With the increasing levels of change in our environments, 是时候了解蜜蜂的重要工作以及它们在美高梅app生态系统中的关键作用,并提高对它们的认识了. Australia’s native bees are particularly important in maintaining other native species, but insecticides are one of the greatest threats to their health. 在美高梅app的农场和花园中使用的杀虫剂和化学药品经常使这些本土蜜蜂的健康受到威胁.

冬青Farnan, an Honours student in Zoology and 生态, explains that Australia’s native bees are often misunderstood, 许多人惊讶地发现,一些最常见的本土蜜蜂是无刺的. “澳大利亚大约有2000种本土蜜蜂,其中11种实际上是无刺的,”冬青说. “Some are social bees that live in hives, but there are also many solitary bees that live by themselves, which most people don’t know about.”

在亚热带和热带生态系统中,许多本土无刺蜜蜂是重要的传粉者, particularly along the eastern and northern coasts of Australia. 在凯恩斯附近,霍莉参观了许多不同的本地蜂房进行她的研究.

“Many of these bees are specialist pollinators, so they play a critical role in pollinating particular endemic species of flora,”她说. “蜜蜂和大黄蜂是大型单一作物的主要传粉者,在经济上很重要, our native bees are also very important pollinators with cultural significance.”

荷莉·法南拿着小塑料容器到本地蜂巢收集本地蜜蜂.
Close up of native bee hive with bees throughout the structure.
Left: 冬青Farnan collecting native stingless bees. Right: The nest structure of native bee species Tetragonula clypearis. Supplied by 冬青Farnan.

Native bees under stress

While Holly is researching the native bees for her Honours thesis, 本科生Lisl和靛蓝已经参与了这个研究项目,作为他们“工作整合学习”的一部分. 靛蓝 is a Zoology and 生态 student, while Lisl majors in Earth and Data Science. 他们一起致力于了解杀虫剂和气候变化对本土蜜蜂的有害影响.

霍利正在研究杀虫剂中的某些化学结构是否能吸引蜜蜂到被喷洒过的植物上. 这意味着蜜蜂会把花蜜带回蜂巢,在那里,即使浓度很低,杀虫剂也会产生有害的亚致死效应.

The research has already seen some positive changes in the community so far. Lisl在高地的一个农场工作,他们对种植的不同水果使用杀虫剂, and she has taken what she’s learned into her workplace.

“I wanted to see what effect the pesticides have on the bees, 希望能和经理谈谈考虑改变他使用的农药种类,”她说.

美高梅app已经计划在农场建立一个蜜蜂花园,在那里美高梅app将种植不同高度的本地树木,并安装一个喷泉. Hopefully it will bring more bees to the area.”

Holly is also hoping to build on the research of previous JCU students from past years. “我希望引入温度元素,测试不同的杀虫剂对蜜蜂对不同温度的耐受性是否有影响,”冬青说. “This is super important, especially facing climate change. 蜜蜂对气候的微小变化都非常敏感,展望未来,美高梅app真的需要知道如何更好地缓解温度波动,帮助保护美高梅app的蜜蜂.“更好地理解这些热应激源将为美高梅app关于本土蜜蜂的一些最重要的问题提供答案,并为杀虫剂的应用提供证据.

The research to understand the native bees requires patience and attention to detail. Lisl and 靛蓝 have been working together to prepare containers for capturing the bees. “美高梅app在集装箱设计方面做了很多试点,试图找到最好的,”霍利说. “We tried placing the vials horizontally, 面朝外, or facing downwards, as well as trialling different types of sugar-soaked cotton wool for the bees to feed on. We think we’ve found what will be the most efficient design.最后, 让研究团队能够插入测试瓶的容器设计是将处理蜜蜂所造成的任何额外压力最小化的最佳选择.

The process has been as beneficial for the bees as it has been for the research team.

“很高兴看到你需要在多大程度上适应这些挑战. 美高梅app能够解决问题,重新振作起来,努力工作来弥补时间. So it’s just been good to see that things can go wrong in the real world, but you just work through it.”

靛蓝斯宾塞, JCU Student

Thankfully the native bees that the team are working with are friendly and don’t sting! 冬青回忆, “美高梅app开始将蜜蜂收集到单独的容器中,然后将它们转移到实验容器中. We had a few escapees while I was transporting them in my car.”

Close up of native stingless bee under a microscope
Two people wearing bee suits collecting bees from large white hive boxes.
Left: Native stingless bee under the microscope. Right: Lisl Mohr and 靛蓝斯宾塞 collecting European honey bees. Supplied by 冬青Farnan.

Bee friendly to our pollinators

For avid gardeners and farmers, there are a few key things we can do to help our friendly neighbourhood pollinators.

对冬青, 靛蓝, 和Lisl, getting the message into the community about the importance of native bees is crucial. With so many different species of native bees, it is important the community understands how to support them in their gardens. 霍莉认为,重要的是要了解不仅仅是欧洲蜜蜂, but also native bee species that need our attention and research.

“There are lots of native stingless bee groups around that you can join,”冬青说. “There are community events with educational talks and workshops. It’s really good to get people involved.”

靛蓝 suggests that if people are passionate about gardening, try discovering the types of pollinators you have in your own backyard. 她说:“试着选择不同的植物品种,让蜜蜂在你的花园里工作。. “学校有了蜂箱,让学生更多地了解当地不同种类的无刺蜜蜂,这很好.”

从农场到后院,每个人都可以做出努力来保护澳大利亚的本土蜜蜂. You can find useful 种植指南 online to plan out how to best support natives bees in your garden. 凯恩斯本部同样高品质 社区 Garden “Mayi Tjulbin Ma Bugarra”举办研讨会和活动,向公众传授本土蜜蜂的知识,让更多的人参与到园艺中来. 如果任何现在或未来的学生对研究澳大利亚本土的传粉者感兴趣, you can also get in touch with Associate Professor Lori Lach.

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冬青Farnan

荣誉学生

霍利·法南是昆士兰州远北地区的一名年轻人,她从小就在澳大利亚的偏远地区旅行. After completing school in Cooktown, 她获得了农村地区企业奖学金,为追求STEM职业生涯的年轻女性提供帮助. After completing her Bachelor of Science degree majoring in Zoology, 生态, and Earth Science last year, Holly was inspired to pursue a career in entomology. She is currently working towards an Honours in Zoology & 生态 supervised by Dr Lori Lach and Dr Peter Yeeles.

霍莉的研究兴趣包括调查不同压力源的影响,如气候变化和杀虫剂对传粉者的使用. Holly希望她的研究可以增加关于澳大利亚昆虫的知识,帮助制定更好的生态管理策略,减轻压力对传粉者的影响.

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