Current Research Projects
Under construction: coming soon!
In the Meantime…
Learn A Thing or Two About Mining Bees
A (Gold) Nugget of Truth
When the precious metal we call gold was discovered in abundance around the United States during the 19th century, national newspapers titled the phenomenon the American Gold Rush. Hopeful citizens sought the riches they knew were beneath their feet--and many found their lives forever changed by the gold they mined. While the first American Gold Rush has ended, Americans now have the opportunity to focus on an even more valuable golden resource that exists just below the surface of our parks and gardens: the ground-nesting bee. Today, 52% of bee species native to New York State (The Honeybee Conservancy’s research hub) are ground-nesting. Despite this, they are the least-studied of all bee species and, as a result, the least protected. It’s time to protect nature’s most precious resource through a 21st Century Gold Rush! The Honeybee Conservancy is pairing with individuals and organizations around the United States to embark on this perilous journey into the mines of the ground-dwelling bee. Here’s how you can participate in our ground-breaking research:
Click the button above to join the Gold Rush as an official Citizen Scientist, fundraise with us or make a monetary donation, donate your time as a volunteer, or offer us space for events and citizen science training. For more information on what it means to be a citizen scientist and why we’re focusing on ground-dwelling bees, read on!
A Golden Learning Opportunity
What can be found in underground mines, is formed in nature, and is considered a precious resource? If you guessed gold, you’d be close! Ground-nesting bees, often gold like their fair-haired cousins the honeybee, are some of the most important pollinators in our global ecosystem. Did you know that over 70% of all bee species are ground-nesting? These bees--which often live alone unlike the colony-forming honeybee--make their homes in the ground. Female ground-nesting bees dig galleries (or underground channels) in the dirt where they can lay their eggs, store their food, and hunker down for a good night’s rest. The galleries are more than just homes for bees: the underground systems are beneficial for the earth, too! When ground-nesting bees dig out their houses, they aerate the soil, meaning more nutrients can make its way into the dirt for a happier and healthier ecosystem. Take a walk and pay close attention to the soil in your neighborhood. Can you spot the little mounds of disturbed soil that make up a ground-nesting bee’s front door?
Breaking New Ground as a Citizen Scientist
Citizen science, also known as participatory science, is a burgeoning field where academic scientists and the public (or, as we like to refer to them at The Honeybee Conservancy, non-traditional scientists!) can come together to conduct research for the betterment of society. The goal of citizen science is this: for all parties involved to be enriched by their collaboration, and for the fruit of that collaboration to be brought into the public domain to add to humanity’s depth and breadth of knowledge. We at The Honeybee Conservancy understand that knowledge is empowerment, and that information should be freely accessible to all. Join in the citizen science movement by emailing our Science Director, Alixandra Prybyla, to join our CitizenSci listserv.