The effect of field size on the number of bumble bees
¹Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1a, 51014 Tartu, Estonia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
²Agricultural Research Centre, Riia 24D, 51010 Tartu, Estonia.
³Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Vanemuise 46, 51014 Tartu, Estonia.
Bumble bees are important pollinators in agricultural and natural ecosystems. In recent decades their numbers have been declining due to the intensification of agriculture and establishment of large homogenous fields. Our goal was to study the effect of the field size on the abundance of bumble bees in Estonia. The data was collected from 66 farms located in different regions of the country. Bumble bees were counted along the field transect of each farm. The relationship between field size and number of bumble bees present was calculated. We found a negative correlation between the field size and the abundance of bumble bees: as the field area increased the number of bees decreased.