Great Basin Naturalist


The native bee fauna visiting and pollinating a population of sweetvetch in Grand Teton National Park was surveyed. The papilionaceous flowers were exploited by 37 bee species, most of which had long mouthparts. Most species collected pollen as well as nectar. Bees foraged most heavily in early afternoon when pollen was most abundant. However, there was no indication that bee species were competing for limited pollen resources: there was no difference among three time periods in percent sweetvetch pollen carried in the scopal pollen loads of bees nor was there any evidence that some species were displacing the foraging times of others. The advantages of developing a native species as a commercial pollinator of sweetvetch are discussed and several potential candidates are mentioned.