Anthony's bumble bee summer

Posted: August 22, 2013

Anthony provides an update on his recent happenings
Bumble bees foraging on a favorite plant species, Senna hebecarpa

Bumble bees foraging on a favorite plant species, Senna hebecarpa

After a slow start to this field season, overcoming complications with my bumble bee colonies and slow-blooming plants, I was able to collect six weeks worth of bee foraging data. Unfortunately, I had to end my field work last week because most of mu plants species stopped blooming, perhaps due to the unusually cool weather. Nevertheless, I was able to collect bumble bee foraging data for eight of the nine host plant species. In the coming weeks, I look forward to analyzing my data. 

Last week, Penn State hosted the 3rd International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy. In attendance were some of the biggest names in the field of pollinator research that presented and discussed the most recent and exciting research in pollinator biology and health. Excitingly, I was able to represent the Tooker and Grozinger labs by presenting my research from the 2012 field season and I was thrilled that many conference attendees were intrigued by my results. 

In September, I will be traveling to England for a month to conduct research in collaboration with Dr. Geraldine Wright at Newcastle University. Using laboratory studies, we will study bumble bee nutrition by observing their preferences for different nutritional compounds found in pollen. We will also analyze the nutritional content of pollen from the host plant species used in my field research. Then in October, I plan on testing whether these preferences hold true when given a choice between different pollen types.  In subsequent months, I hope to be ready to publish my results and present them at the Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America in Austin, TX.

Overall, I had second successful field season and I am excited about our research plans for the fall. I hope to share more soon.

--Anthony Vaudo, 18 Aug 2013