October was a busy month in the Brock Bee Lab! Both Rola Kutby and Tom Onuferko successfully defended their MSc theses, within one week of each other.
Rola’s thesis was on the re-establishment of bee communities in two newly restored sites in Pt. Colborne and Wainfleet, Ontario, both of them former landfills reincarnated as naturalization sites. Rola’s thesis completes our studies of the initial stages of bee recolonization of three Niagara landfill sites, a research project that began in 2003 with the MSc thesis of Amy Rutgers-Kelly.
Tom’s thesis compared 10 years of bee abundance and diversity records in old fields to newly restored sites. Both projects provide some good bee news: when sites are replanted with flowers, bees return almost instantly. Within about 3 years, the number of bee species in restored sites is comparable to nearby reference sites. Tom has moved on to a PhD in the Packer lab at York University, but we are still counting on his fantastic taxonomic skills to identify some more bees for us, especially those pesky Dialictus!