Student Summer Research
Beginning June 1, 2020, summer research at Grove City College offers professors and several of their students an opportunity to continue working on projects started throughout the year. For our research team, this includes finally working hands-on with our bees! Dr. Farone donated bees from her own hives, and our work this summer will include helping the bees thrive in their new environment at the college. Currently, Katerina Bailey and Deidra Ressler are living on campus, and they are each helping in the apiary, along with working on individual research projects. The summer research session will continue through the end of July, and work will continue upon students' return to campus for the fall semester.
Currently, we have several main focuses within the apiary. Of course, we are appropriately caring for the bees and completing other related maintenance tasks to facilitate hive development. Katerina has previous experience working with bees, and she is responsible for proper documentation of our hives' conditions and our interactions with the bees. Additionally, our hives are currently placed on hive scales as part of a mega study, and Kat is monitoring our hives' data through the Broodminder application. Finally, she is collaborating with Dr. Farone in researching biosecurity measures related to honeybees.
Additionally, we are continuing to water and care for the plants we introduced last fall. These include plants such as goldenrod, hairy beardtongue, and snapdragon, which are beneficial to pollinators. Additionally, we have a designated bed for catnip, and there is a row of pumpkins. We hope to use each of these as a source of income and to promote our garden! Another feature currently in development is a pollinator home for other pollinators that will visit our garden.
Our major goals include community outreach and education, and in light of this, Deidra is exploring different methods of photographing bees. Using both traditional cameras and microscopes, we hope to produce high-quality images for educational purposes, and ultimately, we hope to publish a book with our images to educate others about honey bees.
Finally, there is a lot to learn about honeybees themselves and the unique problems they face as an essential agricultural animal. Each research student is completing outside study through webinars and other resources to further their own knowledge.
Over the next couple of months, we have many exciting plans for summer research! Stay tuned for more updates and information about our apiary.
Katerina Bailey (left) and Deidra Ressler (right)
Our apiary's sign
The natural wetlands behind the apiary