My course has three weeks of teaching left. From then on I finish up with a four month project, based around some ethnobotanical research. Here is the summary, otherwise known as an abstract, of my proposed research which will begin in earnest in April. I will be updating on the research as the Summer progresses so if you have any interest in Bees or growing bee-friendly plants have an occasional look and/or get in touch with me.
The Proposed Research:
This study will explore whether resident gardeners and beekeepers in Canterbury know about the bee problem. It will further assess what these groups know about bees and whether they grow bee-plants in urban gardens or not. Recent literature has emphasised the importance of socio-cultural factors in influencing people’s choices in relation to wildlife-gardening. Decisions around growing bee-plants will be explored using a mixed methods approach. Data will be collected through questionnaires and interviews and results will be analysed, discussed and presented in a dissertation; then summarised and disseminated locally in information leaflets. This study may help clarify whether recent scientific and media information is influencing knowledge about bees and bee-plants that are found and grown in private gardens, as well as the motivations gardeners and beekeepers have for growing bee-plants.
key words: Bees, Bee-friendly plants, Wildlife-gardening, Urban ecology, Ethnobotany
A few interesting bee-plant links:
- Simon Potts: Global Pollinator Declines: http://nature.berkeley.edu/kremenlab/Articles/Global%20pollinator%20declines.pdf
- Urban Bee Gardens: some information http://nature.berkeley.edu/urbanbeegardens/index.html
- Natural England: Wildlife Gardening Forum http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/advice/wildlifegardening/forum.aspx
- Friends of the Earth: Fantastic Review of Scientific Literature http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/briefings/beesreport.pdf