From 7th July, the children of the Isles of Scilly have teamed up with bee experts to see how adventurous their honeybee drones are.
Honeybee workers and queens have stings
Bee scientists know that honeybees can travel many kilometres to find food and mates on the mainland but we know little about how far honeybees will travel across the sea! The Isles of Scilly is an Archipelago of five inhabited islands, so we are perfectly placed for an island-wide citizen science project.
Creating an ambitious experiment together will help us answer these important questions-
We have been marking drone honeybees (male bees with no sting) with coloured dots of non-toxic bee paint. Each island has their unique colour. We have then released them on their islands to see where they end up. This is called a Mark-Release-Recapture experiment.
Bee experts have been searching the islands for ‘drone congregation areas’ where male bees like to hang out and the Children of the Five Islands Academy have created posters to encourage people to look out for marked honeybees and to report sightings.
This is a pilot study to engage the community and test out our ideas, run solely on volunteered time and equipment.
We now need to roll out a Game of Drones IoS over the next 2 years with the aims to-
We will need to raise funds to continue our work to cover staff, accommodation, travel, educational materials, equipment for the experiment and for schools, and to provide support for island beekeepers.
Want to find out more and discuss opportunities to team up with us?
We are a team of passionate scientists, beekeepers and advocates for sustainable beekeeping in harmony with wild bee conservation.
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