The birds and the bees (mostly just bees)

A couple weeks of data collection are under our belt, and it's going pretty well! Our week usually starts with catching wool-carder bees in the surrounding area to put in our experimental enclosures. We put 1-2 male wool-carders and 1-2 females in each experimental enclosure. The males usually set up a territory and begin defending it against bumble bees and/or other males within an hour of getting into the enclosure. They also partake in other important bee behavior ;).

The rest of the week is spent collecting bumble bee data. My tireless undergrads count how many bumble bees are on every plant in every enclosure twice a week. They also sit and watch bumble bees exiting their hives, recording whether they chose to go to the enclosure to forage or out into the field.

It's really hot out (have I mentioned that before?) so these undergrads are serious troopers.