Remember the bee tree? Well, the bees never moved out of the tree up into the provided boxes on the top. Instead they have continued to live happily in the bee tree.
Katherine Darger is doing a research project at the University of Delaware on feral bees and their genetic make-up, with a particular interest in Africanized bees. I'll learn more about it when she speaks to the Metro bee club on Wednesday night. Meanwhile, she has arrived in Atlanta early to collect samples of feral bees in the Metro area to study for her research.
I volunteered the two trees I oversee for the company who removed the trees, preserving the bees.
Here's the original bee tree and the second rescued section from another tree:
Katherine used a butterfly net to collect her samples. She swirled it all over the place and ended up with quite a few bees in the net. (This was 7:45 at night but the bees were still flying thanks to daylight saving time.
She also collected by scooping the bees into an alcohol filled vial (these bees all died in the name of bee research).
She also coaxed them into the alcohol vial from the collection in her butterfly net.
In the end she went away with a good sampling from both trees. I'm proud that the rescued bees can contribute to better knowledge about feral bees and their genetics.