WHEN ECOLOGIST Rachel Winfree set out to survey native bees in the Delaware Valley of New Jersey and Pennsylvania, she was not optimistic about her results. Not only is the region far from any known hot spots of bee diversity, such as the U.S. Southwest, “New Jersey is also the most densely populated state in the country,” says Winfree, an assistant professor in the Department of Entomology at Rutgers University. “I was worried that after getting funding and hiring a staff, the project would turn out to be a waste of time.”