Pollinator garden blooms on Mount Carmel Campus

A pollinator garden is now in bloom on the Mount Carmel Campus, with hopes it will invigorate the biodiversity of native pollinators at Quinnipiac.

The garden contains eight themed beds hosting 200 varieties of native plants. Plants were chosen to bloom in succession for year-round growth, said Assistant Professor of Biology Sarah Lawson.

“My research is on native pollinator health and nutrition, about the impact of native pollinators and how we can bring back biodiversity of pollinators,” said Lawson.

Preparation for the garden started last fall. Cardboard and mulch were layered to smother grass in the selected area, located outside the Albert Schweitzer Institute. Planting began in April. The first completed bed is a rainbow theme, including scarlet bee balm and yellow poppies, she said.

Riya Miller ’23, MS ’24, is taking advantage of the new garden for her QUIP-RS, an 8-week research project spanning the summer months. She designed her project to study the social hierarchy of the small carpenter bee, she said.

“I’m going to test the effect of the biogenic amine octopamine along with blockers and record the effects they have on the bee’s behavior. We are creating solutions to apply to the bee’s cuticle and monitoring them using a circle tube assay,” said Miller, a student in Quinnipiac’s 3+1 accelerated dual-degree biology/microbiology program.

Ultimately, the pollinator bed will act as a blueprint for future sustainable planting around the Mount Carmel Campus, said Lawson.

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