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Nature Conservancy
Searching the forest for the bees
Searching the forest for the bees

— Every week this spring, Pat Groller drove to remote Dorchester Pond and traipsed through the forest, bucket in hand, to check her traps. Her quarry: The mysterious bees that keep wildflowers blooming here year after year. "It's a trek, but I've enjoyed it," Groller said recently after she'd collected the contents of nine colored plastic cups staked out on the ground. She logs more than 90 miles round-trip from her home in Preston to run traps at three wooded sites on the Eastern Shore. The 73-year-old grandmother is a volunteer in a small army of citizen scientists taking stock of wild bees in the forests. Organized by the U.S. Geological Survey, the...