Kaeser Compressors funded a two year study at the Virginia Tech Entomology Department’s Couvillon Lab as part of our Centennial Celebration in 2019. The results of this research allows the everyday gardener to customize plantings for hungry bees looking for food.
The Couvillon Lab investigates the dynamics of how pollinators collect their food with a specific focus on honey bee foraging, recruitment, and health. The ongoing pollinator crisis exemplifies how public interest in scientific issues can be a mixed blessing. While awareness is growing and many want to feed hungry bees by planting bee-friendly flowers, this help – offered with the best of intentions – cannot necessarily be effective because we do not fully understand the dynamics of the food collection by bees. Kaeser is pleased to have sponsored research that provided peer-reviewed data on what types of plants attracted various pollinators so that accurate information can be disseminated and can form a foundation for decision making.
At the beginning of the study, graduate student Micki Palmersheim was named the “Kaeser Fellow” in charge of collecting data and conducting the research. The finalized study completed by Dr. Margaret Couvillon was peer-reviewed and published, and the results will be presented through conference presentations and to the larger lay community through Cooperative Extension, outreach, public talks, articles, and community events.
KAESER has always believed that maintaining the quality of the environment is a shared commitment. Recognizing the global crisis related to pollinators and the broader impact it could have on our food supply, this research has helped to document which plant and flower species are preferred by bees and other pollinators. Of note, the results show us that while some plants attract more diversity of pollinators, other plants attract an abundance of particular insects and pollinators. The results contribute important and crucial knowledge to the field and is the first of its kind specific to the region. "We see this study - and this worthwhile body of knowledge - as a continuation of the KAESER family’s long-standing commitment to the local communities and environments where they do business,” said Frank Mueller, president of Kaeser Compressors, Inc.