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Articles
Published: 2018-03-25

“Bee-Flower-People Relationships, Field Biologists, and Conservation in Northwest Urban Costa Rica and Beyond.”

University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720
Professional Entomologist/Photographer, El Cerrito, CA, 94804
Professional Landscape Designer and Bee Taxonomist, Richmond, CA, 94805
University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720
Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, 77843
Private Naturalist/Bee Ecologist, Bagaces, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Hymenoptera Native bees bee-flower relationships tropical ornamentals bees and people research outreach outreach evaluation environmental education bees and children pollination ecology

Abstract

The forests of Costa Rica are rich in a wide variety of pollinator types and a very diverse flora that supports them.  Our research group from the University of California, Berkeley and Texas A & M University, College Station has been researching the ecology of one pollinator group, the bees, in the northwest Guanacaste dry forest region since 1969.  Much natural forest existed in this area when we first began the work.  But, many land use changes have occurred over the years to present day to the point that it is difficult to find tracts of undisturbed forest suitable for field research, especially those not affected by wildfires, which are now common.

        Further, urban areas in the region continue to grow with increasing numbers of people populating the region.  In this paper we provide an overview of our past bee-flower work for a historical perspective, and then weave in people that have now become an obvious ecological component of current bee-flower relationships.  We also explore new questions that have become relevant through time, especially those related to researchers and potential conservation opportunities to share their stories with audiences that may extend their knowledge for practical use.  Finally, we propose that researchers plan to devote some of their precious time establishing relationships with people in conserving what is left of bee-flower relationships in urban environments in Guanacaste and beyond in the country.  Avenues for extending this knowledge are explored in this paper.

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