Pollen. It's what's for dinner.

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a research update for the Tufts Graduate Admissions blog (lots of guest blogging lately!). You can read that update here. And update to the update: I just got the pollen data back from Jonah Ventures this week! I have lots of data to sift through.

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Organized chaos

Everyone knows that bees are busy. Many know that their hives work like a well-oiled machine. But did you know that a bee’s life is basically organized chaos? Take this video for example. Slowed down to ¼ the speed, these foragers aren’t as graceful as they first appear. At the beginning of the video, a […]

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Back to the drawing board

My interns (James and Joanna) and I recently installed pollen traps on our observation hive at Tufts University. We installed the pollen traps to control which amino acids our bees eat. Since pollen is basically the bees’ only source of amino acids (there are small amounts of amino acids in nectar), pollen traps allow us […]

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The Installation.

This year marks my first bee installation! Although I have been studying and keeping bees for about 3 years now, I had only worked with observation hives. I don’t actually install the bees in the observation hives—I bring empty observation hives to our bee guy (Rick Reault, owner of New England Beekeeping). Then, Rick installs […]

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The Starks Lab is ready for Tour de Hives 2016!

As some of you may have seen on Facebook, the Starks Lab “bee huts” got a serious facelift this summer. During the first week of the Tufts University Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, we were landscapers, painters, and carpenters—and it was a blast! Although I am a field biologist, I can honestly say that […]

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Powdered bees

As described in my last post (Battling Bees), my current research project involves mass-marking bees from 8 separate observation hives so I can determine mineral preferences of each individual hive, and track how those preferences might correlate with hive health. To mark the bees, my summer interns (four industrious interns over two separate summers) and […]

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Battling bees: A day in the field

To investigate honey bee mineral preferences, I put out artificial feeders (the upside-down tubes in the video) with different mineral solutions to create a “tasting table” for the honey bees. Once trained to feed from the tasting table (see last week’s How to Train Your Honey Bees), the bees forage at the table, and drink […]

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How to train your honey bees

Honey bees can be trained to do a lot of things. Recently, they have been trained to detect bombs, diabetes, and maybe even cancer. I simply train my honey bees to drink from artificial feeders at a certain location. Easier said than done (in the summertime anyway). Whether honey bees are being trained to detect […]

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