April: Nature in Cambridge

When you think of bees, you probably think of someone who looks like this:

a blossom of white clover with a honeybee atop it.
Copyright Amy, Some Rights Reserved. Photographed in Cambridge.

The decline of the domesticated European honeybee, Apis mellifera, has had considerable media attention since colony collapse disorder reared its ugly head in the early 2000s. But scientists are documenting the decline of other bee species, native to the U.S. These and other local pollinators play a keystone role in our ecosystems. An example is this—

Bombus fervidus, or Yellow Bumble Bee. Robert Gegear, an assistant professor of biology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and founder of the Bee-cology Project, will speak on Wed., April 3 at the Cambridge Public Library. His topic? The “beautifully complex interactions between plant species and the insects that pollinate them— intricate ecological systems that we humans are only beginning to understand.”

More info here about Dr. Gegear’s presentation.

Meanwhile, The Cambridge Science Festival is once again coming to our city to inspire, confound, entertain, and wow residents and visitors alike. Many festival events are in “Greater Cambridge,” but it all kicks off at the Cambridge Science Carnival, April 13th. The carnival and robot zoo take place in the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School Field House. In the adjacent Joan Lorentz Park, from 1:00 to 3:00 (weather permitting) the giant local species puppets of the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project will roam about.

Great Horned Owl Puppet

Later in April, the City Nature Challenge comes to Greater Boston with a full four days of identifying local species in urban, suburban, and rural habitats. Additional information about Cambridge events will be posted here closer to the date.