Honeybee Research and Student Perceptions of Science
European honey bees (Apis mellifera) are critically important because they provide pollination services to support the agricultural industry. Enhancing our understanding of honey bee foraging behavior and how bees choose which plants to visit once they arrive at a resource patch will help us to better understand pollination services. Recently honeybees have become a model system for engaging both the general public and undergraduate university students through community science and Course-Based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) to help change perceptions and attitudes toward pollinators. Information identifying if bee activity on neighboring flowers impacts the number of bees that visit a focal flower was collected with the help of STEM and non-STEM major students in a previous related study. The students involved in the experiment were also assessed in pre- and post-surveys. Both STEM and non-STEM students showed an improved attitude toward pollination processes and the importance of honey bees. These results provide important insight into how the commonly known honey bee can be an inlet for people to become interested in science.