Photographs of readers

August 21, 2019 • 2:00 pm

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).

25 thoughts on “Photographs of readers

      1. “Let us celebrate the hive of Venus, who rose from the sea: that hive of many names: the mighty fountain, from whence all kings are descended; from whence all the winged and immortal Loves were again produced.”

  1. I did a postdoc with Laurence Harder 20 years ago! I heard he has just retired. Please say hi to him for me, Ron.

  2. I did a postdoc with Lawrence Harder 20 years ago! I heard he has just retired. Please say hi to him for me, Ron.

  3. It’s good to see another beekeeper hare. I must confess to being more timid and using a veil and gloves with my bees. Bravo Ron!

  4. JAC:

    “I thought you needed a hazmat suit and gloves to do what he’s doing!”

    These are Canadian bees Jerry. Well done Ron

    Note that Ron has a Norwegian extreme metal band from Trondheim, Norway named after him – for a spurious reason. Miksha had their Half the Battle video played more times** than the contemporaneous Britney Spear’s video!!!

    HERE’S Ron’s Bad Beekeeping Blog

    ** on Norwegian MTV that is

    1. As Andy Warhol said, “In the future everyone will have a Norwegian heavy metal band named after them.” I’m just the first, I guess.

      By the way, you are right – these are Canadian bees and they always apologize if they accidentally sting.

    1. If you are talking to Jerry Coyne re sending a photo, then click on “Research Interests” [top right of this page] & his email address is after his phone number.

    2. Hi BeeFarmgirl,
      I’m not sure if you are addressing your comments to Jerry or to me. It is Dr Coyne who runs this website. If you would like to be added to his new series of Photographs of Readers, you will need to contact him directly. Meanwhile, Calgary is just a couple thousand kilometres north of Boulder, so drop by anytime. (Email ahead to catch me at home – I might be in a Chilean beeyard or something.)
      – Ron

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