Many food crops require insect pollinators to produce fruit; with global declines in honey bee populations, agricultural production is relying more on native bees for pollination services. For establishment in agricultural fields, both wild and managed bee populations require suitable habitat for nesting, as well as a constant supply of floral resources to be sustained over a season.
My name is Jessica Guezen and I am a M.Sc. student in the Department of Biology at the University of Ottawa. From May to August 2016, I am conducting a study on wild bees and honey bees around farms that are growing squash, pumpkin, or zucchini (Cucurbita spp.) in the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
This study will investigate how floral resources from crops and surrounding habitat can sustain bee populations in agroecosystems over a season. The results of this study can be used in development of agricultural field designs that maximize crop production while simultaneously preserving bee populations in agricultural landscapes.
If you are growing squash, pumpkin, or zucchini this season, or know of anyone who may be interested in participating in this study, please let me know if you would like any more information and feel free to contact me at any time.