Bee sustainability and stewardship in a semi-arid urban environment: establishment and results of the CU Denver Bee Project (2016-)

Authors: Christy Briles*, University of Colorado - Denver
Topics: Biogeography, Animal Geographies, Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: bees, urban sustainability, gradients, resource availability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: Cleveland 2, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Bees are a keystone species and excellent indicators of environmental health. The CU Denver Bee Project commenced May 2016 to educate and find ways to sustain and safely caring for bees in a semi-arid urban environment. Honey bee hives were located on the roof top of a campus building in the center of downtown Denver Colorado and at three suburban locations in the metro area. The project examines human-animal interactions by building on biogeographical principles and utilizing emerging geospatial techniques. For example, an ongoing study is examining foraging patterns and resource availability in these different Denver Metro locations using pollen and high-resolution remote sensing data and instrumentation. Students involved in the project have evaluated different hive frame technologies in supporting bee health and beekeeper practices and another wild bee community response to local and landscape factors along an urban-rural gradient. We also conducted a survey of beekeeper practices and honey bee health in the Denver Metro area. I will be discussing the establishment of the project and hives on an urban campus and some of the results of our past and ongoing research.

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