Bee research at URI. How can you help?
Thanks to Dr. Steve Alm, Professor, Department of Plant Sciences and Entomology, students are conducting important research on native bees. Most recently is the work to survey bumble bees in Rhode Island. They are looking for citizens scientists to help collect data. Please see the flyer.
Regarding specific studies, Zach Scott was the first “bee” student who received his M. S. degree in 2017. Zach’s research was on the native pollinators of highbush blueberry in Rhode Island. Zach found 41 native bees pollinating highbush blueberry, the top 10 were bumble, large carpenter and miner bees. Zach also determined that the miner bees carried the highest blueberry pollen loads. Sara Tucker (M. S. 2018) conducted research on the corrola slitting and nectar robbery of highbush blueberry flowers by large carpenter bees. Her results showed that corolla slitting and nectar robbery had no detrimental effect on the size of the berries or sugar content. She also found that carpenter bees were quite polylectic in that they collected pollen from 21 different plants in 2016, 19 in 2017, and 39 in 2018. She also made advances in our understanding of nesting by these bees. Steven Sipolski (M. S. 2019) researched “bee friendly” Japanese beetle traps. A part of the bumble bee survey of Rhode Island is researching novel Varroa mite controls.