Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Anna Hatzakis Rose Hills

Examining the Foraging Preferences of an Imperiled Bumble Bee

The western bumble bee used to be the most common bumble bee in the west, but their numbers have declined drastically over the past couple decades – particularly in the southern half of their range. While populations have been able to survive somewhat more so in Washington, very few colonies remain in Oregon, California, and Arizona. I will be examining and identifying the pollen from a century’s worth of museum specimens collected across their range in order to describe their pollen preferences. Once we know their pollen preferences, we can find out whether suspected factors such as livestock grazing and/or drought decimated their preferred floral resources, potentially leaving the species more vulnerable to pathogens. I will also be working in the field this summer to document what the very few remaining populations in the Sierra Nevada region are foraging on so we can work to make policies protecting plants that contribute to their ability to thrive.

Message To Sponsor

I am a low income student, so this project would not be possible if it weren't for the generous funding. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to focus on my project this summer! I am so excited to be contributing to research that will (hopefully) not just help the western bumble bee, but may also provide clues to how we can prevent declines for other native pollinators.
Major: Integrative Biology and Conservation & Resource Studies
Mentor: Michael Boots
Sponsor: SURF Rose Hills
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