An Observation of Plant-Pollinator Interactions at Kalamazoo College
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This study was completed in hopes of creating a beginning idea of how bees on Kalamazoo College's campus can be better tended to. This is the first study on plant pollinator interactions on Kalamazoo College's campus. This foundational study was performed to create a better picture of what flowers are present on Kalamazoo College's campus, what bees are present, and how are these bees interacting with these flowers. This project in its entirety was completed on the campus of Kalamazoo College during the summer of 2017, in hopes of constructing a foundational understanding of what plant pollinator interactions are occurring on Kalamazoo College's campus. Overall this study assesses the following of questions: what types of plants are seen in the flower beds of Kalamazoo College, what kinds of bees are populating the campus, how are those bees interacting with the flowers on campus, how can flower beds on campus potentially be better suited toward bee populations, and how can the information found here be used to engage with a larger audience? This relationship between bees and flowers can be seen as a very necessary mutualism. Bees need to have sources of pollen and nectar in order to survive, and most flowers need bees to spread their genetic information to ultimately reproduce. Most flowers are not self pollinating, which makes the presence of bees and other pollinators completely necessary to live within this world. Flowers and bees have co-evolved with one another to create a relationship that works fine for every organism involved. It can be hard to believe, but planet Earth truly could not survive without the service of pollination. The impact of lost populations of bees would be devastating to any flower that may need to be pollinated, and ultimately any organisms that uses that flower as well. It is important to try to support local pollinators in any way possible. It is necessary to reincorporate space for pollinators in every day society. This study attempts to do just that on Kalamazoo College's campus.