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  • 1 Szent István University Department of Zoology and Ecology Gödöllő Páter K. u. 1. H-2103 Hungary
  • | 2 Animal Ecology Research Group of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Hungarian Natural History Museum Budapest Hungary
  • | 3 Hungarian Natural History Museum Department of Zoology Budapest Hungary
  • | 4 Mernye Hungary
  • | 5 Institute of Ecology and Botany of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences Vácrátót Hungary
  • | 6 Georg-August University Agroecology Göttingen Germany
  • | 7 Szent István University PhD School of Environmental Sciences Gödöllő Hungary
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Bees are the most important pollinators in Europe. We studied bee assemblages on 7 pairs of extensively and intensively grazed sites in three lowland grassland types in Hungary. No chemicals were applied on the grasslands. The bees were collected using sweep net surveys and 1 m wide transect surveys in 2003. We mapped land-use types (grasslands; arable fields; forests; built-up areas; marshy habitat and open water) based on aerial photographs within a 500 m radius of each study site. We captured 483 individuals of 124 Apoidea species in total. This shows very diverse and species rich bee assemblages in these semi-natural grassland areas. Both diversity and percentage of rare species were the highest on the Kiskunság alkali area. The dominance of honey bee ( Apis mellifera ) was very low at each site. Neither species richness nor abundances differed between extensively and intensively grazed sampling sites, among regions, and between edge and interior of sites. However, both species richness and abundance of bees correlated positively with species richness and cover of flowering plants, indicating the important role of food sources. From the landscape parameters wet areas were preferred by small species, while large species tended to avoid build-up areas.

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