Course description

Honeybees have been an object of fascination for mankind since prehistoric times. The complexity of their communal life has intrigued many observers and scientists, and they have long been prized for their honey as well as their beeswax. Honeybees, along with many wild bees are essential coworkers in agriculture because of their pollination services, and they are increasingly seen as important partners for sustainable agriculture that limits the use of pesticides. This course aims to offer an exploration of one of the most amazing life forms we know. Topics covered include chemical ecology, insect physiology, beekeeping, behavioral ecology, pollination biology, sociobiology and Conservation Biology. This course is suitable for non-life sciences students.

Outcome 1: Showcase working knowledge of honey bee biology and their place in the evolutionary history of life on planet Earth, their unique anatomy/physiology, behavior, social complexity, chemical world, and environmental adaptations.

Outcome 2: Explain how Apis mellifera, the Western honey bee, differs from other honey bees, and from the other 20,000 bee species of the world.

Outcome 3: Analyze the relationships, influence, and impact between honey bees and humans throughout history.

Outcome 4: Describe the role of honey bees and wild bees in current agricultural systems, evaluate the potential impact of the current decline of populations of many of those bee species on food supply for both humans and livestock, and identify strategies that can mitigate bee decline and lead to sustainable agriculture.

Outcome 5: Demonstrate self-directed learning in biology by finding and then utilizing credible information sources available to the educated layperson, including articles from the primary scientific literature.

Outcome 6: Communicate clearly and effectively about controversial issues that relate to insect biology, in written and oral formats.

This class fulfills BIONLS-AG, OPHLS-AG

Summer 2024: Online course

Marina Caillaud
Marina Caillaud
Lecturer, Department of Entomology