Don’t forget your Syrphid friends

Historically, I have preferred bees over flies, but my time in Ireland has given me a new appreciation for Syrphids. I have reason (and data) to believe that Syrphids are incredibly important pollinators here, where bee numbers are low. Moreover, collated data from across the Irish landscape show that Syrphid flies are central, important pollinators […]

Some spring bees in Dublin

The weather this spring has been incredibly wet and cool, so I haven’t seen too many bees, but I did catch these photos in between bouts of rain. I love the hellebores, but it is so tough to photograph bees visiting these flowers…first, you have to photograph them basically upside down, and then the light […]

UPDATED: Can we talk about this Cheerios thing?

A very interesting thing has happened this week*! Cheerios, a cereal maker if you weren’t familiar, has started a new “conservation” initiative to “save the bees”! My liberal usage of quotation marks demonstrates how mixed my feelings are on this effort. I find it fascinating. Of course, it has generated a huge controversy in my […]

Links to share

OMG just found a cool TED talk on some of the more charismatic aspects of my research…I’m really enjoying Dr. Valdovinos’ research right now: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-bees-help-plants-have-sex-fernanda-s-valdovinos Great post on Agroecology by Manu Saunders: https://ecologyisnotadirtyword.com/2016/05/27/nature-food-and-people-theres-no-magic-bean-for-sustainable-agriculture/ Everyone has been sharing this graphic of spiraling climate warming, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s good: Made up animals?  Shame […]

Pollinators make an awesome study system

I’ve told the story before about how I got into studying pollinators (you can read that here). I did a large, two year field study where I manipulated the presence or absence of a single plant species in a community of flowering plants and then I recorded the response of the insect community. After collecting […]