Stamford, CT - Dr. Kimberly Stoner of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and her technical staff will be conducting research at the Arboretum during the summer of 2019. Dr. Stoner will have 4 honey bee hives at the Arboretum equipped with pollen traps – devices used by beekeepers that collect pollen from the honey bees as they return after foraging to the hive. Pollen collection will be rotated among the hives so that each hive gets enough pollen for feeding its brood. The pollen will be tested for pesticides and analyzed to determine the plant origin of the pollen, with the idea of linking pesticides and plant sources to determine from which plants the honey bees are exposed to pesticides.
Dr. Stoner and her staff will also be collecting wild bees using colored pan traps and sweep nets, focusing on plants that are the primary pollen sources for particular rare species of bees. The bee species will be identified by Tracy Zarrillo and entered into a database used to create a checklist of bee species found in Connecticut.
These research projects are funded by a Specialty Crop Research grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the US Department of Agriculture, along with a Specialty Crop Block grant from the Connecticut Department of Agriculture.