Fifty-six species of bees have been identified by
scientists who conducted a seven-month study last year after capturing
2,418 bees in traps from nine different Presidio sites. Bees were most
abundant in the park during the early months of the study, corresponding
with peak blooming periods of springtime. The numbers dropped in late
Researchers from San Francisco State University,
led by Dr. John Hafernik and Hannah Wood, selected sites around the
Presidio encompassing natural areas, unrestored disturbed areas, and a
forest site to study the bees.
A decline of pollinators worldwide, such as bees,
could have serious consequences for plants that depend on them for
successful fertilization, the report notes. Wild plants, for example,
would be adversely affected because a decline in pollination disrupts
their reproduction. In turn, this can impact the formation of seeds.
Collectively these impacts lead to a loss of genetic diversification in
flora that depend on pollination.
Approximately 30 % of all human food crops are
dependent on pollinators.
However, the study notes, Presidio bee
populations are doing well. Though bee abundance and diversity varied
widely at each study site, the researchers were impressed by the overall
diversity of bees in the park.
Natural areas like those throughout the Presidio
are refuges for a remarkable variety of wildlife, and researchers are
still learning more about who is making use of park habitats.