|Featured CA Bee:
Our Lab has been particularly interested in Ceratina spp. because of their role in crop pollination. Frequency counts have revealed them visiting the crop flowers of several target species, berries being a significant one.
These small, rather hairless, shiny bees range in color from black to a metallic dark green. There are 350 species within the Ceratina genus worldwide, with 13 being found in California. Ceratina nanula and Ceratina acantha are two of the most common. Fun fact: Some populations of Ceratina acantha in Southern California consist only of females- they are able to reproduce asexually!
They can often be found nesting in the hollowed-out pithy stems of woody perennials. Deadheading and cutting back shrubs like Salvia mellifera and Perovskia atriplicifolia creates ideal nesting habitat for them. They are generalists, meaning they’ll visit many flowers for pollen and nectar, with some favorites being in the Aster, Erigeron, and Nepeta genera.