Bees are fickle creatures

July 24, 2012 - 13:35 -- ecobro

My data collection is complete and I'm now on to analysis and writing. I've really enjoyed conducting research up here in Kensington and I have learned a great deal. I've often heard that you learn more from the mistakes you make than the things you get right, so I'd like to share some of my mistakes and frustrations with you. In case you didn't read the lengthy proposal I posted earlier, the cliff notes are that I'm quantifying the efficiency of pollinators that visit purple coneflower. This means that I've spent a lot of time staring at flowers and waiting for a bee to come visit. I found that pollinator activity is incredibly variable and challenging to predict. The bees don't seem to like it when it's too cold, or too hot, or too windy, or too rainy. On nice days they'll usually be out, unless of course it's the third or fourth nice day in a row, and then they will have already been collecting pollen for a few days, so they will not be out. It was incredibly exciting for me on the days when i could videotape multiple pollination events, but often even those observations became useless when I would come out the next day and see that a caterpillar had been snacking on the persistant styles. Despite these setbacks I have collected some good data and I'm excited to share my results. It was fun having to adapt to the prairie and adjust my procedure from week to week. I look forward to sharing more about these blunders and especially about the things that did go right on 17th. See you all then!