BEEc - Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation

Welcome to BEEc – an interdisciplinary initiative that strives to advance research in the fields of bee ecology, evolution and conservation.

York University houses a diverse group of researchers studying various aspects of bee biology. Dr. Amro Zayed, YorkU’s research chair in Genomics and BEEc director, uses genomics to understand why native bees and honey bees are declining, and develops tools to circumvent these declines. Dr. Sheila Colla studies the variety of factors affecting native bee decline, and develops conservation efforts for these important pollinators with a special focus on at-risk bumblebees. Dr. Laurence Packer, a Distinguished Research Professor at YorkU, studies native bees and is constantly contributing new species records to the global list of over 20 300 species.  He has built and continues to maintain the largest Canadian collection of bees, currently estimated at over 500k specimens from all over the globe. Dr. Sandra Rehan is an expert on the social biology of carpenter bees and is studying factors that control bee biodiversity. Dr. Jane Heffernan, director of YorkU’s Center for Disease Modelling, is applying her modelling skills to help understand how pathogens and pests affect colony health.

Collectively, BEEc is able to apply a diverse set of tools to carry out cutting edge scientific research on bees which will help secure their health and the health of important crops and plants that rely on bees for pollination.