To some, honeybees are simply buzzing distractions. To graduate student and environmental biology major Neal Jankowski, honeybees are the main subject of his current research.
Jankowski has been researching honeybees and other bee species for several years. His research concerns how honeybees are non-native to America and, despite popular belief, are one of several bee species. “There is a wide variety of bee species beyond honeybees and bumblebees. There are 100-plus bee species in Illinois,” said Jankowski.
Jankowski’s research has confirmed that many bee species are steadily declining. To help native bees survive, “don’t use pesticide, provide pollen and nectar by planting prairie plants native to Illinois, ensure bees have nesting sites, protect hibernation habitats for queens by avoiding raking, tilling or mowing your lawn until April or May,” said Jankowski.
On December 6, 2016, Jankowski discussed his research during an hour-long presentation sponsored by SciencePub, a community organization bringing together average people with an interest in science. SciencePub holds monthly meetings at the Ravisloe Country Club in Homewood.
Public speaking may intimidate some people, but Jankowski is committed to advocating his research to the public. He enjoys leading presentations for an interested audience. He says that the key to a successful scientific presentation is for the presenter to know the audience’s familiarity with the subject so the presentation can be tailored to their knowledge level.
Jankowski also presented on bee species at the Illinois State Academy of Science’s annual conference on March 31, 2017 at Harper College in Palatine. For further information on Jankowski’s research, feel free to contact him at njankowski *at* student.govst.edu.
This article was written for the inaugural issue of Governors State University's College of Arts and Sciences student magazine. The magazine was published in May 2017.
To view the entire magazine, please click here. "Science Beyond the Lab," and its accompanying pictures, appears on pages 14 and 15 of the magazine.