UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab - The Buzz, Volume 10, May 2016
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Saying Goodbye to Jaime

The Urban Bee Lab is sad to announce that Jaime Pawelek, one of our core team members, is moving on to work on new projects in the world of garden design and consulting. Her last day working with us on April 22nd was a day of much nostalgia but also one of great appreciation. Jaime has been an integral member of our Lab for many years, contributing heavily to our mission of restoring and protecting native bee populations with her strong vision, passion, and dedication. She stands out as a true ally of the natural world. 

Jaime has been working with the Urban Bee Lab since her days as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. After graduating, she worked in the Lab for two years before heading to her native Florida where she studied bees, gopher tortoises, and beach mice for three years. Since returning to the Bee Lab several years ago, Jaime has been the Project Manager for our Urban California Bee Survey, coordinator for our experimental bee garden in the UC Berkeley Oxford Tract, and served as the lead taxonomist for all projects. Many of you may know her through her extensive participation in outreach, events like our Sonoma Bee Count or Jepson Herbarium Native Bee Course, or from her work with gardens around the state. Her friendly personality and easygoing nature make Jaime a pleasure to be around! 

We wish Jaime the best of luck in her future adventures. While we already miss her greatly, we are excited to find out where she goes and what she does with her amazing talents. 


Note: Jaime can be reached at for those who would like to reach out.
Fairfax Students Lobby for Pollinators  

Below is a story that features the work of Laura Honda and her fourth-grade students at Manor Elementary School in Fairfax, CA. After their extensive study of native pollinators, the students visited a Fairfax City Council Meeting to voice their support for an official city pollinator policy. Laura has participated in several of our Lab events such as the Sonoma Bee County and we have stayed in close communication with her over the years. 

Fairfax would not be the first city to take steps to support native pollinators. Cities like our very own Berkeley have adopted similar policies that direct city-owned parks, gardens, median strips, etc. to feature bee-friendly flowering native plants. Incorporating more bee-friendly plants into urban landscaping and city planning can aid in supporting diverse native bee populations.

We are deeply inspired by Laura's passion for environmental education and her enthusiastic teaching. We are also energized by the intelligence of her young students and their commitment to supporting pollinators in their city! 


Close up image of a female Agapostemon texanus under our identification microscope. 
Upcoming Events:

May 5 - Chris will be talking to the Santa Clara Valley Chapter of the California Native Plant Society in Redwood City about bee-friendly gardening.

May 7 - Chris will be presenting a poster at the Society for Conservation Biology Symposium at Stanford University. The Symposium is free and open to the public.

May 14 - Sara will be leading a garden tour with the Alameda County Beekeepers' Association. 

May 20 - Gordon will be at the Visalia Garden Club meeting to talk about native bees and how to support them in urban areas.

May 21 - Come to Annie's Annuals plant Nursery with Sara for a Mother's Day Party where bees are the stars!

Interested in bringing us to an event? Fill out a presentation request form here
CUESA (Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture) featured our work in Brentwood in a recent article. Read it here

Event Spotlight
Sonoma Bee Count on Saturday, June 25.

Every June for the past five years, we have partnered with the Sonoma Ecology Center and Cittaslow to engage in a citizen-driven bee monitoring survey project in Sonoma, CA. Community members partner with mentors from our Lab who together sample bees from three sites within the city of Sonoma, bring them back for a pinning and quick identification workshop, and plentiful food and drink! You have the opportunity to join us for this citizen science project - please check our Facebook or website's events page for details once they are arranged.

Featured CA Bee:
 Andrena spp.

Some of these mining bees are very early season bees, like the female Andrena angustitarsata in this photo, visiting Ceanothus 'Julia Phelps'. We have observed notable Andrena activity these past few days and weeks in Alameda and Contra Costa counties. Mining bees get their name because they build their individual nests underground in the soil. Some species can be found nesting in aggregations, which is where several females of the same species nest side-by-side, each with their own nest, in one favorable patch of habitat.

These bees range in size and color and are very diverse. They collect pollen on hairs on their legs, as well as hairs that are found between their thorax and abdomen. Keep your eyes out for these bees foraging on Gilia capitata, Ceanothus spp., Phacelia spp., and Ranunculus californicus.

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