Each year the Bees@Schools project teams up with 200 Canadian school classrooms to provide critical information on the changing geographic distributions of plant-pollinator interactions across Canada. By combining DNA barcoding of bees and the pollen they carry with distribution and climate change data, we can show how distributions of Canada’s bee species are changing along with the climate. The project also determines how pollination services shift across Canada, impacting food production and landscape management advice to improve vital species’ chances of persisting in agricultural landscapes and alleviating pollination deficits.
Each school installs a wild bee nest box in the spring and in the fall, nest boxes are collected and returned to the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics for analysis using DNA metabarcoding. The program emphasizes critical thinking skills across several core subjects, including biological and environmental science, mathematics, English, technological studies, and geography. Bees@Schools also provides lesson plans and cross-curricular activities to fulfill elementary and secondary curricula expectations. Click here to learn more about solitary bees.
This map shows participating schools from 2021 in grey, 2020 in green, and 2019 in blue! This year, we have 186 nests currently installed! In 2021 we had 170 nests returned, and during our 2019 pilot year, we had 42 successfully installed nest boxes.