Beyond the bees is supported through the Department of Biological Sciences at Ohio University, undergraduate student researchers through the Program to Aid Career Exploration (PACE), and materials provided in-kind from White’s Mill (Athens, Ohio). Beyond the bees is a project that aims to understand fly pollinators and manage pollinator supportive landscapes. Providing floral habitats that favor all pollinators will strongly influence pollination services provided in both natural and agricultural settings. Therefore, development of landscape management practices and conservation tools should support a wide variety of pollinators. Recent attention however, has focused largely on bees, butterflies, and vertebrate pollinators. With the exception of bee flies (Family Syrphidae), alternative fly pollinators within the Order Diptera may also be important pollinators based on abundance and strong attraction to flowers for foraging, carbohydrates (nectar) and protein (pollen). However, their contributions as pollinators and pollination ecology is poorly understood and often overlooked pollinators.
THE FLY POLLINATORS
Its not all about the bees and butterflies, don’t forget the “socially unacceptable” pollinators… FLIES! Flies are a common group of insects in the Order Diptera (meaning 2 wings), with over 120,000 known species worldwide. You may think “pest” when you think of flies, and certainly there are many pest species, but flies have also provide important eco-system services like soil conditioning, recycling, and POLLINATION! Flies are the second in importance to bees and, on certain plants, are incredibly effective at transferring pollen grains onto a flower stigmas.PROJECT TEAM
- Dr. Bekka S. Brodie
- Ayden B. Wilson, 2017 Undergraduate Research Student (PACE Recipient)
- Sarah Romer, 2020 OHIO Honors Research Apprentice
- Evelyn Blakeman, 2018 Undergraduate Research Student (PACE Recipient) and Departmental Honors Thesis Student
- Emi Olin, 2020 Undergraduate Student Illustrator
RESEARCH REPORTING & WORKSHOPS
Jordan Schmitt. Undergraduate researchers virtually travel the world to study role of flies in pollination. OHIO News. 15 April 21.
Emi Olin*. #BeyondBees. OHIO University Student Expo. 15 April 21. 1st Place in the Creative Arts (Watch her outreach video posted at the top of this page!)
Evelyn Blakeman*, Ayden B. Wilson*, V. Popescu, and B.S. Brodie. Are flies pollen their weight? Data mining social media for information on fly (Diptera) pollinators. Pollinator-Insect Ecology (P-IE) Undergraduate Research Symposium- Entomological Society of America. St. Louis, MI, 17-10 November 2019. 1st Place Oral Presentation Award
Ayden B. Wilson*, V. Popescu, and B.S. Brodie. Are flies pollen their weight? Data mining social media for information on fly (Diptera) pollinators. Ohio University Student Expo, Athens, (OH 17 April 2018). (Poster) – 1st Place Award Winner
Brodie, B.S. Harnessing sight and scent communication pathways for insect conservation and management. Plant Biology Colloquium, Ohio University, Athens, OH (2 March 18).
Brodie, B.S. Citizen Scientists (you!) predicting floral attractiveness for fly pollinators. 18th Annual Ohio PawPaw Festival, Albany, OH (16 September 2016).
White’s Mill (Athens, OH) is a local store selling garden and home supplies, as well as gifts to Southeast Ohio area since 1809. White’s Mill has provided this project with beautiful flowers plants and seeds for our hard working pollinators. To get your own pollinator flowers check them out here and shop Athens, Ohio!