We are really pleased that the second paper from Amy Rutgers-Kelly`s MSc thesis has finally been published:
Rutgers-Kelly A, Richards MH. 2013. Effect of meadow regeneration on bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) abundance and diversity in southern Ontario, Canada. The Canadian Entomologist, 145, 06, 655-667, DOI: 10.4039/tce.2013.42. PDF (Copyright: Cambridge University Press)
In this paper and its companion, we examined the return of bees to the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site (GQNS) in southern St. Catharines, next to Brock University. As its name suggests, the GQNS was once a limestone quarry, then a major landfill site, which was closed in 2001 and rehabilitated as a park by 2003. Bees had almost certainly been eradicated from this site for many decades, so we studied their return in order to understand how quickly bees can repopulate naturalized areas when they suddenly become available. We found that the return of bees begins as soon as new habitat becomes available, and estimated that it would take about 3-5 years for the GQNS to return to bee abundance and diversity levels similar to nearby meadows at Brock University. Amy’s MSc research inspired our lab to continue observing bee diversity at Brock, at the GQNS, and two more former landfill sites in Pt. Colborne and Wainfleet.
Getting this into print was a bit of a marathon! Amy did her fieldwork in 2003 and collected thousands of bees. She identified most of them and analysed a huge amount of data in order to complete and defend her MSc in 2005. Why did it take so long to get this published? The main reason was the the sheer immensity of the task of accurately identifying more than 10,000 specimens representing more than 100 species, in the absence of a type collection or museum collections or even a species check list of Niagara bees. Had we known what we were up against, we might never have started! But I’m glad we did.