The Urban Bee Laboratory (UBL) is a 501(c)(3) entity based in Boston, Massachusetts and our mission is improved bee health and longevity.
Our proposed Bee Blue Zones study is based on research first published in the September 2004 Journal of Experimental Gerontology identifying global hotspots where humans experienced longer, healthier lifespans than their peers. The original study identified inhabitants of 4 relatively isolated, geographical hotspots: Ogliastra, Sardinia; Okinawa, Japan; Ikaria,Greece and Nicoya, Costa Rica. In each case, survivors shared common characteristics including cohesive community and family structures, minimal stress, rigorous physical activity and diets consisting primarily of locally produced food. (Link to the full study here
The study will apply a similar methodology to bees and the $8000 budget will cover 6 months or more of part-time research, depending on funds raised. The initial geographical focus is Massachusetts, followed by the rest of the United States and the world.
Over time, we envision Bee Blue Zones research will appeal to the global citizen scientist community and serve as the catalyst for future studies identifying causal relationships found within the data.