I’m heartbroken, today. I just learned that one of the most amazing professors I’ve had in my career as a student has passed away of brain cancer. His name was Terry Wheeler, and he was an inspiring human being and professor.

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Posted in Something for you

Polen polooza!

Well folks, in case you’re wondering what people do after their field work, here’s an example! All those pollen swabs that I took during the field season need to be analyzed, and the way to do that is to compare the shape/color/size of the pollen particles swabbed off the bees’ bodies to a reference vegetation pollen swab library. So, that’s what the images below are…my pollen library.

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Posted in Agroecology, Something for you

The end of an era

Well, dear friends and family, I’m finally home sweet home, writing this post with high-speed internet in the comfort of my office. Such a different feeling from when I wrote the last few posts, sweating in my seat, worried that the page would crash before I finished writing! Though there are so many benefits to being home, I already miss my days hiking in the farms, the sweet smell of coffee flowers, eating my lunch under a tall tree,  and listening to the birds sing.

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Posted in Agroecology

Rain, rain, go away, come again …when I’m done, please!

Well, we’re onto visual observations, and it’s going so-so, to say the least. 😦

Last week we were able to get some nectar and pollen collection done, as well as a few visual observations, which was really exciting. It’s nice to go back to working with the actual bees, rather than collecting pollen and nectar as we’ve been doing for the past few months. We’re not seeing much diversity at all – all but one sighting was of honey bees on coffee…but the one sighting that wasn’t a honey bee was so exciting! Continue reading

Posted in Agroecology

Nectar, pollen, measure, nectar, pollen, measure…

**This is going to be a picture heavy post – after all a picture is worth a thousand words! Hope you enjoy!**

So many flowers, so much data! I really can’t complain, though, since things have been going so smoothly. 🙂

We’ve been really lucky with our timing these past two weeks. We’ve been able to arrive to farms either the day of or the day before the coffee flowers opened, which means we were able to either measure floral traits, or bag the flowers to then collect nectar and pollen the following day. Continue reading

Posted in Agroecology, New Life Experiences

Things are great, measuring floral traits!

*Recap: This year, we’ll be focusing on two main objectives: 1. Determining the effects of floral diversity on bee visitation rates to coffee, and 2. Identifying the effects of coffee management practices on coffee floral traits.*

🙂 I couldn’t think of an exciting title for this post, so please forgive the lame name!

But in all seriousness, the field season is off to a great, but slow start. Continue reading

Posted in Agroecology

Field guide for identifying bees in PR

Happy new year everyone! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful holiday and are feeling refreshed and ready to tackle everything this new year throws your way.

There’s just over a week left before I leave Raleigh and head to Puerto Rico for another field season! I’m excited, and nervous, because this is likely to be my last field season for my degree…so I want to be sure to get as much good data as possible. Continue reading

Posted in Agroecology, Bee pictures, Something for you | Tagged