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From smelly footprints and dances to furry coats and long tongues, Professor Dave Goulson from the University of Sussex talks about it all. We often refer to “bees” as though there’s only one kind, but in fact, over 20,000 species of bee have been identified.

Goulson shares fascinating data and insights primarily on two: the bumblebee and the honeybee.

Press play to discover:

  • How bumblebees and honeybees differ (in many, many ways!)
  • What two critical pieces of information are conveyed by the waggle dance of honeybees
  • What sensing ability of bees explains why a bee may or may not choose to land on a flower for pollen or nectar

Goulson’s lifelong captivation by insects led to a fascination of bees in his adult life, and for the past 25 years, he’s been studying them. Initially, the focus of his research was on the foraging strategies of different species of bee, but it’s since shifted to an investigation of why bee populations are declining, and what can be done about it.

As a specialist in the ecology and conservation of bumblebees, Goulson discusses what he believes to be the primary driving force behind the declining numbers: habitat loss, such as hay meadows in the UK and prairie fields in North America. But he’s careful to note that other factors are likely at play too, including the heavy use of pesticides, and the fact that bumblebees suffer from a range of parasites and diseases.

What do bumblebees eat, and which nutrients are provided by pollen versus nectar? How can seemingly strange bumblebee behaviors actually make a whole lot of evolutionary sense? How can you differentiate between a male and female bee? What exactly happens when a bee pollinates a flower? What types of technology are used for tracking and gathering data on bees? You’ll get a compelling and thorough answer to all of these questions and more.

Tune in and check out

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