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Bee Ecology, Evolution & Conservation (BEEc)

Welcome to the Centre for Bee Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation at York University (BEEc)!

BEEc (pronounced bee-see) is an initiative that strives to advance research in the fields of bee ecology, evolution and conservation. The mission of BEEc is to foster interdisciplinary, innovative, collaborative, and cutting-edge research. This research is used for the advancement of knowledge and implementation of policy changes to help sustain pollinators globally.

Ultimately, our goal is to apply our collaborative efforts to the development of policies and environmental management for the long-term sustainability of bees and the vital ecosystem services they provide.

Why do we research bees?

The bicoloured-striped sweat bee (agapostemon virescens) collecting pollen from a purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea)

Bees are incredibly important and diverse!

We currently know of more than 850 species of bee that are native to Canada, and over 20,400 species exist across the planet. Bees provide essential services through their role in the pollination of both agricultural crops and wild plants. As a result, their actions sustain natural ecosystems worldwide. The objective of BEEc is to promote and support the exchange of cross-disciplinary expertise and use it to further our understanding of these vital organisms.

Beyond the research...

Bee populations are declining across the planet!

Declines in diversity, health, and populations of wild and managed bees have been documented over the past decade. Consequently, scientists and the general public alike are concerned about the sustainability of their populations and conservation. In response, the BEEc research team collaborates to apply a diverse set of tools to carry out cutting edge scientific research on bees. This will help secure their health and the productivity of important crops and plants that rely on bees for pollination.

Who is doing this research?

European honey bee (Apis mellifera) marked queen and workers on honeycomb

Why are bee populations declining?

The causes of these declines are variable, complex and context-dependent and exist in socio-ecological systems. In response, the BEEc research team plans to tackle some of the factors negatively impacting bee populations using tools from a variety of disciplines.

See the published research...

Who are we?

The Centre for Bee Ecology Evolution and Conservation (BEEc) is based at York University, Toronto ON, encompassing multiple faculties and departments.

Through diverse approaches, the BEEc Executive Committee, along with BEEc's Research, Student, and Industry Associates investigate a variety of topics relating to both managed and wild pollinators, with a special emphasis on bees.

The aim is to provide beekeepers, scientists, government agencies, and the public with the necessary information regarding the status of wild and managed bees. Our goal is that our research will support evidence-based decision making and recommendations for sustainable practices in our agricultural, urban, and natural ecosystems.

Our Supporting Partners...

Collectively, our team of researchers have acquired competitive research funding from a large number of funding bodies, including:

Partially funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Partially funded by the Weston Family Foundation

Partially funded by the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation

Partially funded by Genome Canada
Research partnership with Wildlife Preservation Canada
Partially funded by Ontario Genomics