Welcome to the Brock Bee Lab!

"Back to the Bee"  by Jim Paterson, 1989

“Back to the Bee” by Jim Paterson, 1989

The Brock Bee Lab is the research group of Miriam Richards (mrichards at brocku.ca) at Brock University.  We study the behaviour, evolution and ecology of bees, mostly in the Niagara region of southern Ontario, Canada, but sometimes in other places.  Our favourite study species are the common species that most people, even biologists, never notice, in particular, sweat bees and carpenter bees.  We have two main lines of research: 1. behavioural and social evolution in sweat bees and carpenter bees, and 2. long-term demographic patterns of bee assemblages in regenerating meadow sites at Brock University and in former landfill sites. We use all sorts of approaches, including field experiments, extensive behavioural observations, and molecular biology tools aimed at uncovering genetic variation.

Miriam doing fieldwork

As for me, personally, I am a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Brock University, in St. Catharines, Ontario.  I usually teach undergraduate courses in Animal Behaviour, Molecular Ecology, and Genes and Behaviour, as well as a graduate course in writing grant proposals.  I am also an Associate Editor of the journal, Insectes Sociaux, and Secretary of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution.  I live at FarrFetched Farm in Welland, Ontario, where some mules and donkeys, poultry and other farm animals compete with bees for my flowers and attention.

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