Experimental Learning Environment
Solitary bees are ectothermic insects and therefore depend on external sources such as sunlight to regulate their body temperature and metabolism. When solitary bees live near their thermal safety margins and have limited tolerance towards increased heat stress, warmer temperatures associated with climate change can lead to earlier phenological events that have ramifications for insect population dynamics, species interactions, eco-system function, and the local persistence or extinction of insect and flowering plant species. Simillary, extreme temperature fluctuations associated with climate change and altering thermal environments across the globe can contribute to phenological disruption, untimely emergence, increased presence of predators and ultimately lack of pollination, species extinction and loss of biodiversity. Oppositely, solitary species diversity in colder climate zones may benefit from warmer temperatures if species migration can keep pace with a rapidly changing climate.
To study these phenomena Habeetats developed an experimental learning site for exploring how climate change affects native pollinators. We installed 3 nesting shelters (black, neutral (wood), and white) each representing a different climate scenario at AV Miljoe's Landfill in Copenhagen. By absorbing sunlight the black nest represent a warmer climate scenario of approx. year 2050-2070, the neutral wood colored nest is our baseline and represents present day conditions, while the white nest mimics a colder 1940s scenario by reflecting sunlight and heat. All 3 shelters are rigged with Bluetooth enabled temperature data loggers that monitor temperatures inside and outside nests year round, and make for an exciting learning environment for all ages to enjoy and explore.
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