A visit today to any of my thirteen research fields today won’t yield many bees, the buzzing quieted and the whirring of wings and ferrying of nectar and pollen arrested with the frost. Yet they are there—solitary bees, mated queens, a few residual workers—nestled in soil cavities, pithy stems, and deep within piles of coarse woody debris.
I stole from their midst this summer over 1,400 bees as part of my senior research—I’m in pursuit of uncovering more clues as to the landscape features and human land-use practices with the strongest effects on their community integrity. Today those guys look like this:
I feel so grateful to have been able to learn from Sam for a few days, and encourage use of his guides at discoverlife.org to novices and experts alike. With my IDs verified by Sam, I’ve moved into data analysis, and will be continuing my quest for insight into the needs of our precious native pollinators. The futures of food security, native wildflower pollination, biodiversity, and continued production of truly trippy and nigh-unto-extraterrestrial photos depend on it. Until next time!