AboutLeif Richardson writes to us:
"I am a PhD student at Dartmouth College, where I work on plant-pollinator interactions, particularly pollination stuff with bumblebees.
"I am doing an experiment this year in which I hope to induce many bumblebee queens to nest indoors in artificial nest boxes, then move these colonies to particular sites in order to artificially increase the density of pollen-collecting flower visitors.
"(The plant in question is turtlehead, Chelone glabra.) In order to get these colonies off the ground, I need to provide newly emerged queens with pollen, the fresher the better. So my question is: do you know of any beekeepers who might be willing to harvest pollen from a hive or two for me starting as soon as the bees begin foraging for it?
"I can pay for this--though I'm not sure what the going rate might be for such a service.
"Related to this, I'd like to try a similar experiment in the future with honeybee colonies in place of bumblebees. How would I find a beekeeper who would rent me some hives that would be placed at forested or wetland sites for 3-4 weeks to forage on native plants?"