-Daniel Hamelin, Vincent Bouhéret (Apicentris)
It is thought that over time, colonies of non-native honeybees have escaped from apiaries and since become wild in the forests of northeastern North America. We hypothesize that in the absence of any human intervention, these bees have evolved new behavioral and genetic characteristics to defend themselves against disease and parasites. The goals of this project are 1) to confirm the presence of wild honeybee colonies at Kenauk, 2) systematically identify them using a technique called bee tracking, and 3) lay the foundation for future research on the genetics of these bees.
Bee tracking consists of attracting bees using a sugary bait, observing their trajectory back to their nest, and measuring the time it takes them to return to the bait. By gradually shifting operations in the bees observed trajectory you can locate the nest. In 2023, one nest was located, and one observation station was established to be used in 2024.
Stay tuned for results