Biology Senior Presents Research Based on Internship

In February biology senior, Eileen Brandon, presented a research poster based on an internship experience with the Rocky Mountain Biology Laboratory in Colorado last summer. Her poster was titled, “Looking Through Leftovers: An Analysis of Bee Bowl Bycatch.” 


This research examined the species composition of arthropods in bee bowl bycatch. Bee bowls are a lethal method of capture using brightly colored bowls filled with soapy water. They are an effective way to passively capture pollinator species for analysis and they also capture a large volume of bycatch which, although usually discarded without analysis, may provide valuable data about non-anthrophila arthropods in an environment. For this research, an analysis was done of the bycatch collected in bee bowl traps of three different colors at pollinator data collection sites in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. The analysis of these different communities showed a significant difference in the compositional Orders of arthropods found among both the bowl colors and the different sites along elevational gradients. Examining the community composition of arthropods caught in bee bowl traps provides an opportunity to collect and study non-bee insect communities of different environments which may provide information about insect evolution and adaptation to different environmental conditions and changes in insect communities over time as environments change due to human activity and climate change.