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MONITORING BUMBLE BEE BEHAVIOURS IN URBAN AREAS

October 04, 2022
Project Prepared By: Samina Sakhi, Irish Boodhram, & Hoang Sam Bui

What is this project about?

Communities are innovative when they are connected. Our goal as a team is to bring communities together through awareness and engagement with organisms that work side by side with us every day. “Bee-odiversity” is the application that will provide the public with valuable information on pollinators and how cooperation with prominent species such as pollinators is the key to surviving climate change and other challenges on Earth. Through the accessible virtual platform, we aim to connect scientists and like-minded individuals with any information they need while working with pollinators.

More specifically, we want to guide communities on how to identify ground hives while respecting the work they do daily. Further, we aim to mitigate the misconception that pollinators are bees that have hives in high areas such as trees. By bringing awareness to the public we will be able to pique interest in conservation strategies to help pollinators access nectar in urban areas as they are a diverse group of ecosystem engineers. By evaluating our site's biodiversity index, we were able to provide a basis on how our website would be used effectively to measure the extent to which green infrastructure supports biodiversity. 

Objectives

  • Help the city know the location of bee hives so that they can have better urban planning and greenspace design. 
  • Help people identify the different species of bees in their areas.
  • Increase awareness of the importance of bees in urban areas and teach people best practices when they encounter a nest.
  • Foster a platform for knowledge and reduce fear of pollinators from kids at a young age.

Research Methods

  • Site Assessment - The site assigned to us was the bioswale located between 50th street and Prince Edward Street. The first part of our study was to determine the current biodiversity level of Sunset park to see if the pollutants from the rainwater would affect the pH of the soil. 
  • Biodiversity Index - Biodiversity can be defined as the number of different species in an abiotic area. For our project, we needed to find a way to measure the biodiversity of the area around sunset park. We used biodiversity index to estimate the different amounts of plant and animal species at our study site. 

Results 

Our team observed that the biodiversity of sunset park is low due to the lack of flowering plants which attracts 12 pollinators. This hypothesis is based on our visits to sunset park where we noticed that bees were only present on three types of species namely: Red flowering Currant and Oregon Grape. However, these plants were scarce and scattered throughout the park.