Archive for the ‘bees’ tag
By: Ayla Fudala
If you’ve ever seen bees flying around at night, there’s a good chance they’re so-called “ZomBees”—honey bees whose brains are under the control of tiny fly larvae growing inside their bodies.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Let us tell ‘ya about the birds and the bees — for citizen science, that is! Here are just a few buzz-worthy projects to get you started.
Also, don’t forget to stop by DISCOVER Magazine and SciStarter’s online Citizen Science Salon; look for our new collaboration in the pages of Discover starting this month; or listen to beautifully produced citizen science stories from our partners at WHYY radio!
The Great Sunflower Project
Help researchers create a national bee population map to study the decline of bees. Simply plant sunflowers and watch for bee visits a few times a month. Get started!
Help ornithologists learn about 16 key species of urban birds by tracking up to 16 species of birds for just 10 mins in a small area near you. Get started! (Photo: Louise Docker)
Use digital photography to help provide a better understanding of pollinators’ importance in growing food and maintaining healthy natural ecosystems. Get started!
North American Bird Phenology Program
Millions of bird migration records have been scanned. Care to illuminate almost a century of migration patterns and population status of birds? Transcribe records so they can be included in an open database for analysis. Get started!
The Zombie Fly has been found parasitizing honey bees in California, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont and Washington. Where else in North America are bees infected by Zombie Flies? Help solve the mystery by collecting honey bees and reporting easy-to-spot signs of infection. You’ll know it when you see it! Get started!
On Sunday, 5/18 at 9:26 am ET, the Space X Dragon Cargo will be released from the International Space Station to return to Earth. The Cargo will splash down into the Pacific Ocean returning our very own citizen science research project, Project MERCCURI, to Earth! You can watch this all take place, LIVE, on NASA TV: May 18, Sunday 9 a.m.
Learn more about Project MERCCURI at SpaceMicrobes.org.
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Next week is National Pollinator Week!
Pollinators, like bees, birds, and butterflies, play an important role in all of our lives. They aid in flowering plant reproduction, help ensure the health of national forests and grasslands, and work together with famers and ranchers in the production of fruits and vegetables. National Pollinator Week is a yearly effort to build more awareness about the need to maintain a healthy pollinator population.
Today, we’re highlighting one of the many National Pollinator Week events taking place all over the nation: the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Pollinator-Palooza.
To celebrate National Pollinator Week, the Missouri Botanical Garden‘s Sophia M Sachs Butterfly House is connecting people with pollinators in a whole new way. On Father’s Day, families in the Greater St Louis Area and beyond are invited to join games and crafts (designed for kids ages 2-11), observe bee hives, and ask a trained entomologist about pollination or the pollinators themselves.
I had a chance to chat with Laura Chisholm, a program specialist and entomologist at the Sophia M Sachs Butterfly House, about what we can expect at this weekend’s Pollinator Palooza. Laura knows her bugs! She runs the Pollinator-Palooza event and Bug Hunt which occur during the June and July. She also assists with other special events throughout the year, including October Owls and Orchids, March Morpho Mania, Booterflies, and Hot! Hot! Hot!
Deep in the heart of Wisconsin is a nature lover’s dream destination – the Beaver Creek Reserve. With a citizen science center, butterfly house, nature center, observatory, field research station, summer camp, and miles of trails to explore, there’s something for everyone to get excited about. We recently spoke with Sarah Braun, Citizen Science Director at the Reserve, about this amazing facility and its helpers.
Said Braun, “The most exciting part of working at Beaver Creek Reserve is meeting and working with our diverse cadre of volunteers. Many of our volunteers are retired and held previous careers in the Marine Corps, US Postal Service, environmental consulting agencies, insurance, banking, marketing, engineering, and teaching. The volunteers have a lot to offer and I learn from them every day.”
During a typical year, approximately 200 volunteers put in about 3,000 total hours at the Citizen Science Center (in addition to the approximately 1,000 volunteers that work at BCR as a whole). Staff at the Reserve also conduct outreach programs in nearby counties. As it turns out, Citizen Science Center volunteers even show up at unexpected times to help. Braun told us about a memorable day out on the lake sampling for aquatic invertebrates. After their small hand-held dredge and the backup dredge broke, the samplers motored over to a hardware store at a nearby boat landing. As it turned out one of the workers was a Beaver Creek volunteer who proceeded, with some creativity, to get both dredges working again. As Braun cheerfully recalled, “It was an unorthodox kind of day, but it worked out great!”