On The Road

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As we descended from the outskirts of Nairobi into the Great Rift Valley, it finally began to feel like our field work was starting. The crowded road side markets and cement buildings disappeared and made way for sprawling brush landscapes dotted with sparse houses Continue reading

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The Other “Heavy-Lifting”

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By the end of our field work, we should have several tubes full of preserved bees, a hard drive full of pictures (about 10 of which will be any good), and plenty of blogworthy/non-blogworthy stories (hopefully none of which involve malaria). This is all well and good, but at the end of the day only one question really matters: what exactly can we learn from a bunch of preserved bees? Continue reading

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“Nairobi, Nairobi, Nairobi, Nairobi…”

Flight4The small child sitting in front of me on the airplane began screaming “Nairobi, Nairobi, Naiii-roo-biii, Nairobi!” about an hour before the plane landed in Kenya.  It was a pleasant change from the unintelligible gibberish that filled the previous 8 hours, and thus my anticipation for our upcoming honeybee collecting expedition was only heightened.  Naiiroobiii indeed! Continue reading

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Leaving for Kenya

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Making sure all of our collection equipment and field gear are ready to go! I had a great time at the 2015 Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution in Conference in Vienna, Austria and was able to explore some of the surrounding area over the last two weeks. We depart today for Nairobi, where we will officially begin our research project. Our goal is to update our blog as much as possible over the next 18 days and share anything we learn about the status of Kenyan honeybee and pollinator health while we are in the field.

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Unlike other species, bees aren’t tracking changes in climate

In North America and Europe, bee populations face many challenges: decades of inbreeding, pesticide use, and of course, climate change.

A recent study in the journal Science highlights some of these climate threats, and raises a disturbing finding: unlike other insects, bees aren’t adjusting their range by heading north to cooler climates.  Instead, they’re staying put as their range shrinks and deadly temperatures become more commonplace.  More here.

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