New Hampshire bee counters will take to the White Mountain National Forest in mass for the first full-scale Bee BioBlitz organized by the University of New Hampshire. The event takes place June 27 and June 28, 2015, and is open to the public and is starting at the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Pinkham Notch Visitor Center.
The UNH Bee BioBlitz is organized by Sandra Rehan, assistant professor of biological sciences and researcher with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station. Rehan is conducting the research project “Sustainable Solutions to Problems Affecting Bee Health” that is assessing for the first time the Granite State’s bee species and funded by the experiment station.
The goals of the Bee BioBlitz are to document the diversity of bee species in the White Mountain National Forest, with a particular focus on native bees; connect bee researchers across New England; and demonstrate bee surveys and research techniques to interested members of the public and students.
The White Mountain National Forest is a national forest made up of more than 800,000 acres. The Joe Dodge Lodge in Pinkham Notch will be the home base for the Bee BioBlitz. Pinkham Notch is a mountain pass between the Presidential Range and the Wildcat Range, and two rivers drain into the notch — the Ellis and Peabody rivers.
According to Rehan, Pinkham Notch allows Bee BioBlitzers to access to a variety of environments and elevations, including Northern hardwood forest, spruce and fir forest, Balsam fir forest, and the alpine zone. In addition to the variety of environments up Mount Washington, there also is a nearby bog ecosystem. Permits are required for collecting on public lands so attendees should contact Rehan if they are interested in collecting in particular areas.
Participants will collect bee specimens Saturday, June 27, and Sunday, June 28. On Saturday from 8 to 9 p.m., Sam Droege, a biologist with the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, will offer a public lecture on “Native bees, native plants: their conservation, place in the world, and beauty.” The lecture will be held at the Joe Dodge Lodge. Participants will identify the bee specimens collected on Sunday at the Joe Dodge Lodge conference room. Following the processing, labeled specimen will be distributed to museums and interested parties.
While the event is free, there are fees associated with lodging and meals. Bring your own lunch or purchase a hearty trail lunch at the lodge for $10.95. Additionally, the Black Moose Deli has a la carte options.