Most people would mistake the small carpenter bee Ceratina calcarata and its relatives for ants with wings,and I won’t pretend that I could tell the difference before I spent a summer researching this particular bee species. We are conditioned to associate bees with three things: black and yellow coloration, honey, and stinging pain. The small carpenter bee species that I studied, however, did not exhibit a single characteristic from that list, which I found shocking, given that they are native to North America and locally abundant. Was I asleep during the lecture on the North American native insect ecosystems in biology class? Even if I reviewed every lecture since kindergarten, I doubt that information would have popped up. This was the first of many realizations stimulated by my initial experiences with research as an undergraduate.

Publication Date

Spring 2015


UNH Undergraduate Research Journal

Journal Title

Inquiry Journal


Brigid C. Casellini


Sandra Rehan


Durham, NH: Hamel Center for Undergraduate Research, University of New Hampshire

Document Type