Well, I’ve run out of readers with fancy sports cars, but we have plenty of other interesting people on tap. One is Ron Miksha, who shows us that you can be a grad student at any age. All it takes is curiosity.
I’m a bee ecology grad student at the University of Calgary. I am working with Lawrence Harder, a bee and plant ecologist, investigating the effects that non-native honeybees may have on native bees. Here in Calgary, the urban honeybee hobby grew from 120 backyard bee hives to about 1300 in the past ten years. That growth may be displacing local native bees. We are measuring bee reproductive success compared to honeybee colony density around the city. We are also researching direct resource competition.
Although I am getting up in age and using a wheelchair to get around, this photo shows me doing what I like best. It was taken in one of the 85 urban backyards that are part of our laboratory. I am collecting honeybee pollen directly from honey comb cells near the bees’ broodnest. The pollen is analyzed to determine floral source, then compared with pollen I’ve gathered directly from native bumblebees.
I thought you needed a hazmat suit and gloves to do what he’s doing!
Don’t forget to send in your photos (maximum of two, please).