This week members of The Bee Team travelled to Lancaster University to start their data collection as part of an exciting project with Dr Phil Donkersley a renowned Research Entomologist and Dr Nadia Mazza maths professor and Chairperson of Lancaster University Beekeepers. Dr Donkersley is conducting a long term study into pollen, pollinators and the forage available to them... which is where the Bee Team come in!
Over the next 11 months, we will be carrying out a 'mini' research project alongside Lancaster University, to compare our two sites, the available pollen sources throughout the year and the pollinators who use them. The Bee Team will use their beekeeping knowledge to map our findings against the 'beekeeping year' to see how and why our bees collect pollen & use it within the colonies.
The Bee Team will be enlisting the help of Year 5 to help collate valuable weather data for the two sites, which will add an interesting element to the study, to see if one site is further ahead in the year and if temperature differences have an effect on visiting pollinators...
It was tricky, as some patches had so many visitors, we could barely keep up counting!
Already the children were seeing patterns in the information they were collecting...which also led to more questions!! 'Why aren't we seeing lots of honeybees on these flowers?' Why are there so many Hover flies visiting this particular flower?'