Seeking urban gardens and farms

Help scientists study the effects of heat on pollinators!

Wanted: Farms and community gardens in and around Detroit, Raleigh, Atlanta, Denver, and Phoenix, especially if cucumbers are grown.

Who we are: A team of researchers from Bowling Green State University (OH), North Carolina State University (NC), and Kennesaw State University (GA) working on a USDA-funded project to help gardens and farms, especially those near cities.

What we are studying: Our research seeks to better understand how bees respond to the stressors they face in urban environments. We will examine diversity, abundance, health, and pollination services. This research will suggest which species are most at-risk from stressors, and help develop management strategies to support pollinators in the future as cities grow and the climate warms. 

Why you: We need your help to study bee populations in gardens and farms in different parts of the city, and outside, but near the city. 

When: The study will be completed over a three or four-year period starting in the summer of 2021. Each year, your site could be expected to be visited 2 or 3 days in each of 2 different months. 

What we’ll do: If you volunteer your farm or garden as a potential study site, we’ll ask some questions about your property to make sure we’ll be able to complete the study there (if not, we will still have other ways you can get involved). If everything looks good, we’ll visit your site 2 or 3 days, in each of 2 months, each summer. On days that we visit your site, we’ll arrive early in the morning and take various measurements throughout the day. For example, we will measure how often pollinators visit cucumber flowers, how well those flowers are pollinated, the body temperature and hydration of bees, and other metrics. We will collect a limited number of bees for testing and identification, and we’ll leave a small temperature sensor on site throughout the study to monitor the local climate. 

What you’ll do: Coordinate with us to determine the best dates to visit your property and let us know about any off-limits areas. Optionally, you might also choose to participate in citizen science activities such as completing pollinator counts and uploading iNaturalist photos. 

Interested in participating or want to learn more about the project? Please email mjlashb@bgsu.edu and we’ll follow up!

We hope you will consider this opportunity to help us prepare for the future and protect our pollinators!

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