Exciting news! I (Molly) was selected to participate in an REU experience at the University of Kentucky this summer. I will be working as an intern in the Rittschof Lab for the next 8 weeks. Every week I will be posting updates with pictures (if possible) on the experiments I am participating in.
This past week consisted of mostly orientations and getting up to date on the working of lab. I participated in one major experiment relating to bee foraging. This experiment will be looking into the foraging behaviors of honeybees. We were focused on training week old bees in an observation hive to a mason jar feeder. Below is a picture of our feeder set-up.
For about an hour, we used a stick covered in sugar water to transport bees between the hive and the feeder. Soon they learned the location of the feeder and recruited more bees to collect the nectar. Over the next week or two we will slowly move the feeder a few inches until it is about 50 feet from the hive. Our goal is to have ~3 feeder set-ups in different locations with different pesticide chemicals in the greenhouse. Bees that visit each feeder will be tagged with a number (pictured below) to identify each bee. The bees in the image below were tagged for a trial run of an outdoor foraging experiment.
More exciting experiments and updates next week, so stay tuned!