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Unique area site part of statewide bumble bee study

Students from the University of Akron and Ohio State University doing research on habitat for bees and other pollinators were out this week at Fairborn Cement, where a 30-acre field is dedicated to cultivating plants and attracting wildlife.

The research project is part of Ohio Pollinator Week. The Pollinator Stewardship Council partnered with the academic research team to conduct an insect and plant survey at the former mining land at Fairborn Cement.

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The habitat project began two years ago and was funded by a $24,000 Ohio Environmental Education Fund grant secured by Pollinator Stewardship Council with partners Fairborn Cement, Ohio State Beekeepers Association and Medina County Beekeepers Association.

This five-year project follows habitat development on properties from land preparation and seed installation to wildlife and plant population growth and diversity.

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The students are part of Dr. Karen Goodell’s lab in the Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology at OSU and Dr. Randy Mitchell’s lab from The University of Akron. The researchers are part of the bumble bee study being conducted by Mitchell.

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The Fairborn Cement habitat is one of three projects that were funded by the grant. In addition, three acres of pollinator habitat has been created at the Dayton Veterans Administration.

Instead of a grassy field, the habitat brings pollinators to the resident veterans’ vegetable gardens and provides diverse forage for area beekeepers’ honey bees.

For more information about these projects, visit pollinatorstewardship.org.

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