EXEL Research Profile and Melipona Exhibit!

A huge thanks to Drexel EXEL Magazine for publishing a brief report called “Bees in heat” covering my thesis work, geared towards understanding the impacts of increasing environmental temperatures on the alternative reproductive tactics of Centris pallida male bees. You can read the blurb about bee brains and the bees here.

Additionally, undergraduate student Serena Joury who went with Dr. Dane Ward and myself to Cuba in Summer of 2018 to watch some Melipona beecheii hives, has just finished making her 3D printed and hand-sculpted Melipona hive for the Drexel Main Exhibit! It comes complete with brood comb, honey pots, and (fake) bees. The blurb that goes along with the exhibit reads:

Made by Serena Joury, 2019

Melipona beecheii, an endangered stingless bee, has been kept for honey production in the Yucatan Peninsula for centuries by the Mayans who typically use natural log nests; however, M. beecheii in Cuba are kept in a modern box design, like the one displayed here. This box and hive display is a 3-D printed and hand-sculpted 1:1 replica of those crafted from reclaimed materials in Cuba. Unlike the typical depiction of a bee hive which includes hexagonal honey comb, M. beecheii, makes pots of wax and resin to store its honey and pollen. Honey and pollen pots are sealed for safekeeping once they are filled, while open pots are in the process of being filled or used by the workers. Due to space limitations, bees typically cannot fly inside the hive, so they incorporate the storage pots and brood comb into resin ‘sidewalks’ to make transportation around the hive easier. The bees also make several stacked layers of brood comb for the queen bee to lay her eggs. Last but not least, make note of the hole drilled into the wood as an entrance for the beehive; it is carefully watched by a guard bee that typically peeks out through the hole.

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