Honey bees are prolific samplers of the environment, and potentially valuable as terrestrial bioindicators. They cover a large forage area and concentrate their gains in manageable hives. Thus, scientists need only sample honey, pollen or wax from a hive to have a good indication of select pollutants in the environment.
COVID-19 may have led to an unprecedented reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. Honey bee colonies represent an ideal medium to use to determine the impact of the COVID-19 shutdown on nature’s resilience.
This group will gather honey samples collected prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, during the shutdown, and one year following the shutdown.
Half of the samples will be analyzed for pesticide residues and the other half will be stored for future analyses. The data will be used to provide important information on the impacts of pandemics (such as COVID-19) on pollution cessation and environmental resilience.