Mike’s Homecoming Celebration!

The lab was buzzing today as we bee-stowed Mike, one of our loyal volunteers, with an official Achene County of Echinacea Empire Passport! This celebration marks Mike’s return from Bee Land, where he has been residing since this past September.

For the past many months, Mike has been working tirelessly on pinning our bee specimens for the Yellow Pan Trap project. This project tracks the changes over 20 years in bee abundance and species composition along roadsides in western Minnesota. You can read more updates on the Yellow Pan Trap project here!

Mike has been working on the samples we collected during the 2022 field season, and just a few weeks ago he finished pinning 789 bees! I can’t bee-lieve how many specimens that is!

The pinning project required steady hands, an attention to detail and the extensive knowledge of bee identification; all characteristics that Mike has! He spent many hours with the microscope sifting through vials of insects.

No Achene County celebration is complete without, you guessed it, a sweet treat! The most famous baker in all the land, Alex, crafted a beautiful honey cake drizzled with chocolate and surrounded by pear slices. The ornamental bees on the top of the cake are made up pears (for the body) and dark chocolate shards (for the wings).

We are so excited that Mike is no longer a solitary worker bee! We are also excited to send all of Mike’s specimens over to Zach at the University of Minnesota for identification.

If you get the chance, please welcome back Mike to the Echinacea hive!


Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>