Explore Our 2024 Guide to Gap Year Programs!

    Earthwatch Institute: Conserving Wild Bees and Other Pollinators of Costa Rica

    Earthwatch Institute: Conserving Wild Bees and Other Pollinators of Costa Rica


    • Listing Type: Summer Programs
    • Program Delivery: Residential
    • Destination: Costa Rica
    • Provided By: Independent Provider
    • Session Start: June, July, December
    • Session Length: One Week, Other
    • Entering Grade: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, PG, College
    • Gender: Coed
    • Category: STEM
    • Sub-Categories: Animals/Nature, Environmental Science, Wildlife Conservation
    • Selective: No
    • Ages: 15, 16, 17, 18, 19+, 19
    • Minimum Cost: $1,500 - $2,999
    • Career Clusters: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
    • Credit Awarded: No
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    From the mountainous tropical forest in San Luis de Monteverde to the pastures and forests along the coastal community of Puerto Jimenez, join a research team to investigate how threats to bees and butterflies affect the critical pollination services they provide. Over three-quarters of the world’s crops depend on pollinators. These animals provide essential ecosystem services and play a crucial role in the production of many fruits and vegetables. 

    Climate change, pesticide use, and habitat loss threaten pollinator communities, impacting agricultural production. A changing climate could cause these species to disappear. During this expedition, you will work with local communities to create agroforests, helping pollinator communities and provide livelihoods for low-income families in the region. Accommodations are comfortable shared bedrooms with chef-prepared meals. 


    When you arrive, the researchers will provide you with information on working with pollinator species. Depending on your team’s location, field work includes the following tasks:

    COLLECT AND OBSERVE BEES: Hike up the mountain to set out bee traps (small bowls filled with soapy water that attract the bees). You will then return to the sites to collect the pollinators to be sorted and observed back in the lab.

    PLANT TREES: Create a tree nursery. Plant trees in pastures to begin the process of reforestation.

    PLANT SQUASH OR PUMPKIN PLANTS: Observe and count pollinator visits to these and nearby plants at the different stations where they are set up.

    Visit our website for more details!