Fri. May 27th, 2022


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Dog sniffs out bumblebees to help with conservation in Summit County

2 min read

Jacqueline Staab found a way to combine her two passions in her conservation research efforts: bees and dogs.

Staab’s dog Darwin was trained as a conservation detection dog to seek out bumblebees and their nests, and Staab said he’s the only conservation dog in the country that specializes in bees. The research Staab and Darwin do together is for her master’s in evolutionary ecology.

For the past four or five years, Staab has been coming to Summit County on her own to research bees, and this year is the first she’s had Darwin along for the ride. The duo specializes in alpine bumblebees, making Summit County an attractive research destination.

“I couldn’t imagine a better place to do research with Darwin,” Staab said. “Alpine bumblebees are also like a canary in the coal mine for climate change. … By seeing how they’re reacting out here, it can help us predict future movements and shifts.”

While her research season is just kicking off, Staab and Darwin have already done surveys around Hoosier Pass and throughout parts of the White River National Forest.

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