Phase 1 of my pollination fieldwork is complete! Before leaving for Summit, I was tromping around Kangerlussuaq on the search for pollinators. One of my goals is to understand what plants the pollinators are visiting and if these visitation patterns change based on wind and temperature.
Sometimes the weather put a wrinkle in my plans; pollinators love the sun and are most active on sunny days. One day it started snowing and my normal fieldwork was put on hold. I set up my sites, found a fly a frozen to flower, and planned to return if the weather improved.
Luckily, I had more sunny days than I needed.
On one of these sunny days, I returned to the site where it had been snowing a few days before. What I found was truly spectacular: pollinator paradise! There were bumble bees buzzing overhead and flies and wasps landing on flowers. I was excited to record flower visits and collect specimens. I will later swab pollen off the bodies of the specimens and identify the pollen grains to plant species. This work will allow me to create a ‘pollen transport network’ by identifying what plant species each insect species is visiting.
Geeking out over my data collection, I hiked back to the truck with Ruth and gabbed about a successful day.