Urban field work: Pollinators in Montreal

I finally managed to get a little bit of field work in this week.  Although some would question whether it’s REALLY field work, since it involved driving to a couple of cemeteries and community gardens in the city of Montreal!  This urban field work is the start of a terrific new Master’s project by student Étienne Normandin.  Here he is, happily doing field work in a community garden:

Sweeping for bees (and other insects) in a Montreal community garden

Étienne is worked with Valérie Fournier and me in a collaborative project about bees in Montreal.  In this project, we are interesting in asking about the diversity and community structure of wild and domesticated bees in urban areas, and we are working in two major urban centres: Montreal and Quebec City.   Over the past couple of weeks, Étienne has been setting up traps in community gardens and other habitats (including cemeteries) to assess the bee biodiversity.   Étienne is using a combination of approaches to collect bees, including sweep-netting (as pictured above) and  elevated pan traps, as illustrated here (the different colours are used to attract different kind of bees):

Étienne setting up elevated pan traps, to collect bees

This is the very start of what will be an interesting and important project, especially given the concern about the losses of bees, and the economic and ecological consequence of changing pollinator communities.  I will continue to post developments in this project.  And, I warmly welcome Étienne to the Arthropod Ecology laboratory!


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