Research

Research

UNIBUG aims to engage people and expand awareness of beneficial insects in urban ecology through outreach, education, and citizen-science research projects.

Want to know how to manage pests without chemicals? Ever wonder who’s pollinating your garden when you don’t see many honey bees around? These are questions we explore.

 

Research 2016 – Focus on Native and Local Pollinators

The ongoing Summer 2016 is the first season of research dedicated to looking at native and local pollinator populations, as well as the habitat they are found in. Activities include surveying private and public gardens, doing pollinator counts, and monitoring solitary bee houses/hotels. Through these activities we hope to begin answering the following questions:

  • What native pollinators are present in urban gardens in Metro Vancouver?
  • How many of each type do we see? How do the numbers change over the season?
  • Are some garden features more or less attractive to pollinators?
  • How can pollinator populations be improved?

Previous Research – Attracting Beneficial Insects to Control Pest Populations

From 2011-2015 UNIBUG’s volunteers tested if two plants could help attract beneficial insects to their gardens: a native white yarrow, and sweet alyssum. Both plants were found to attract predatory ground beetles (which prey on slugs, snails, and grubs) and flying parasitoid wasps (which use pest insects like aphids as a food source for their larva) when in bloom. Alyssum attracted more beetles in general, perhaps due to it low growing nature, providing beetle habitat.