About This Project
New Brunswick is home to over 250 native species of wild bees! Bees serve an integral ecosystem function as critical pollinators and, they help sustain both native plants and cash crops foundational to NB's identity, including blueberry, cranberry, and apple. Despite the significant role played by wild bees, there is very little documentation of species richness, abundance, and distribution of wild bees in Sackville. Therefore, an overarching goal of our project is to begin the ongoing process of archiving bee biodiversity in the Sackville area.
To do this, we have been collaborating with a select group of Sackville residents who cultivate their own private gardens to monitor bee populations on their properties.
Our first goal is to assess the effectiveness of measures taken by individual rural residents to improve bee habitats and help support bee populations. Improvements to bee habitat can be as simple as providing an area of bare ground and growing native plants, or setting up "bee hotels" in gardens. Bee hotels are structures with drilled holes, hollow reeds, and twigs that provide nesting sites for above-ground nesting bees.
Our second goal is to evaluate the role of human-built naturalized sites, like the Sackville retention pond, as habitat reservoirs supporting wild bee populations. We will compare the wild bee abundance and richness documented at the pond site with the data collected at home gardens to determine the effects had by the retention pond on local bee populations.
Wild bees are essential to the health of native plant communities, particularly plant communities that face environmental stressors like climate change. Wild bees are keystone species that not only support native plant communities but also support the animal populations that rely on native plants. With your help, we can support wild bees in rural environments and improve our local ecosystem!
Check back in throughout the winter as we continue to add to the website and provide further updates on the project!