I'm investigating the effects of urbanisation on honeybee colonies in a project called Bees in the City. Click the link below to find out more
There is growing concern that neonicotinoids, a class of agricultural insecticide, may have harmful effects on several aspects of bee health and behaviour. For my Masters research project, I looked at the effects of a particular neonicotinoid, thiamethoxam, on spatial memory in bumblebees.
I adapted an apparatus designed for testing rodent spatial memory, the Radial-Arm Maze, for use in bumblebees.
As an undergraduate research assistant at the Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects at the University of Sussex, I helped on several experiments investigating pollinator ecology and honeybee behaviour, including:
•Waggle dance and palynology studies
•Urban foraging – bees from urban hives have to travel less far to find food than rural bees
•Oilseed rape – oilseed rape makes up a relatively small proportion of flower visits in bees located near oilseed rape fields
•Individual distance miscommunication
•Variation in attractiveness of garden plants to insects in an experimental plot
•Variation in attractiveness of garden plants to insects in an existing urban park
•Wildflower and insect surveys – identifying preferred rural habitats for flower-visiting insects
•Effect of flower patch size on insect visitation rate
•Effects of barrier heights on honeybee flight paths