Bee Conservation: Saving the only resistant bumblebee in Colombia
We need to know our bumblebees!. In recent decades the decline of bumblebees populations has been of great interest, due to the ecological role that these insects play on crops and wild plants. One of the main causes of the decay of bumblebee populations is the loss of habitat, caused by agricultural expansion. A high fragmentation does not allow the normal movement of bumblebee populations, giving rise to a high genetic structure and a loss of genetic diversity. These last two factors in a context of climate change, like the current one, could cause the local extinction of this important pollinators. Despite the importance of bumblebee worldwide, in Colombia the status of Bombus populations at genetic level has yet to be investigated.
This project will explore new alternatives in Colombia with the study of landscape genomics of wild pollinator as Bombus pauloensis, also will provide key information to the scientific community about the uses molecular genetic markers to study ecological and evolutionary processes in bumblebee populations that may be in danger. We will evaluate the status of one of the most widely distributed bumblebee species in Colombia in the departments of Cundinamarca and Boyaca. For this, it will be show how the genetic variability of the populations of these bumblebees are affected because of the fragmentation processes generated by intensive farming and extended livestock.
This will be the first time to carry out a study on the genetic diversity of bumblebees for their conservation in Colombia, with last generation molecular tools!
Why is this project Important?
When I was working with the reproductive biology of naturalized plants, I found that the communities of pollinators was greater in places where there was a natural ecological succession. I am interested in know what is the status of one of the most widely distributed bumblebee species in Colombia and that seems resistant to the changes in the landscape. There is a need for studies that assess the impact of land use on wild bee gene ﬂow in tropical ecosystems, this is due, that the rate of land conversion to agriculture is expected to further increase in response to a growing human population!.
The status of bumblebee populations in regions such as South America is poorly known, and currently there is a decay of these species worldwide. In addition, countries as Colombia that present a high level of agriculture, is currently affecting the habitat of different species of native bees. For this reason, the knowledge and conservation of these bumblebees is of vital importance, not only due to their co-evolution relationship with wild and agricultural plants, but also because of the intrinsic value of their ecosystem service and its high diversity, little studied in Andean ecosystems.
The knowledge and conservation of these bumblebees by the analyses of next generation sequencing in this project is of vital importance, as with this information we will be show how the genetic variability of the bumblebee populations are affected because of the fragmentation processes generated by anthropogenic factors as intensive agriculture. We will use Bombus pauloensis because this species offer an ideal scenario to determine how bumblebees populations deal with the threat imposed by anthropogenic changes.
The results obtained through these analyses, will allow to understand in depth the processes that are affecting the different populations and even more to take effective conservation measures without wasting resources. We hope publish this investigation in a journal of high impact in Colombia. We hope that eventually many endangered Bumblebee in Colombia will benefit from this research, particularly those whose populations have declined for habitat loss, and fragmentation. Two species of ‘Data deficiente’ could be benefit from this work the red bumblebee (Bombus rubicundus) and Bombus pullatus they are are critically important for the pollination of paramo ecosystems, which are being affected by the increase in land use for livestock.
We will give educational talks to farmers and communities interested in the investigation in the different sample localities, at the end of the investigation posters from each locality will be made showing the results of the investigation and the insects pollinators founded in each area, this will allow us to maintain a continuous process with the farmers communities that were interested and helped with the research. In this way we can encourage to the care of these important insects.
We want to raise money for the genotyping of 90 samples through nextRAD, this samples were collected in 10 different localities from Colombia. Genotyping through nextRAD is of vital importance to understand how environmental characteristics correlate with genetic changes. Also, we will make a posters in each localite with really cool photos of different pollinator insects.
Genomic DNA Sequencing and library preparation: £2,500
Montage Insects and Posters: £750
Transport and alimentation: £250
I am a biologist graduated from the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. My current interests are focused on the study of the ecological and evolutionary processes of bumblebee populations, the assembly of insect pollinators communities, and their distribution due to anthropogenic processes. I am a skillful person in the field and I am characterized for having high experience in field trips of wildlife monitoring.
I have a four-year experience studying the high Andean bumblebee populations and their behaviors. In these four years I have made contact with farmers in different sampled areas, encourage to care for and develop sustainable techniques for the environment and the conservation of insects pollinators. In addition, I have been working for two years giving educational talks in Bogota schools and low-income schools in the sampled areas.
To thank you for your support
If you would like to just donate to the project.
3 different Stickers of bees from Colombia (You can choose from 20 models) at the end of the campaign.
Bee photo: A great bee photo to frame as a reminder of the research you supported, at the end of the campaign.
A beautiful poster of some colombian bees that you can frame!, at the end of the campaign
Access to a online gallery of macro photos about pollinator insects unique of Colombia. (more than 150 photos). At the end of the campaign.
A T-shirt with different images of bumblebees or insects pollinators unique of Colombia (Plus the access to the online gallery). At the end of the campaign. You will be able to choose between 20 different patterns in black, white and green. At the end of the campaign.
A hoodie with different images of bumblebees or insects pollinators unique of Colombia (Plus the access to the online gallery). At the end of the campaign. You will be able to choose between 20 different patterns in black, white and green. At the end of the campaign.
Daniel Camilo Peña Luna
Juan David Leon Mendez