"I’m Ashleigh, a BSc Technology student majoring in Animal Behaviour and Biology (mainly physiology) at The University of Waikato. Before moving to Hamilton, I lived in Snells Beach, which is an hour north of Auckland. It is here that my interest in biology began as I was surrounded by rocky shore environments, marine reserves, farmland and forests.
The apiculture/pollination team at Ruakura is currently looking at queen bumblebee (B. terrestris) nesting preferences using radio telemetry (transmitters), and looking at bumblebees as an alternative source for pollination. The project I am working on adds information to these research projects. The aim of my project is to investigate whether there are behavioural and physiological effects of attaching transmitters to queen bumblebees. Behavior will be quantified using video recording of bees in a large flight arena. Physiological effects will be measured through the construction of a flight chamber that elicits and maintains forward flight in bumblebees whilst simultaneously measuring and recording changes in metabolism (respiration), and using a high-speed camera to observe wing beat frequency, body angle and stroke angle of the wings.
I’m excited about meeting other summer students at the leadership conference, and getting to know my colleagues better at the site Christmas party."