UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab - The Buzz, Volume 21, October 2018
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Hollywood is full of rumors, gossip, and incorrect information, and the famous Paramount film Bee Movie is nonetheless a perpetrator of misleading depictions of bees. Take this quick quiz to see if you can identify what Bee Movie got right! (Answers on the bottom of the page) 
  1. In the film, Barry B. Benson has a large stinger. This is because male bees are the the only bees with stingers. 
  2. In the bee world, the worker bees are homogeneously female, although in Bee Movie they were all male.  
  3. Pollen can be used from any flower to pollinate other plant species. 
  4. Bees are the only insect pollinators that exist. 
  5. A queen can mate with multiple male drones and will have offspring from all of the mates. 
Beginning October 1st, a Scientific Collecting Permit (SCP) is no longer required from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) for most Terrestrial Arthropods. Some important information follows: 
  • Terrestrial Invertebrates: Activities with most terrestrial invertebrate will be exempt from needing an SCP. However, SCPs will continue to be required for activities involving:
    • Any of the 303 terrestrial invertebrates on the “California Terrestrial and Vernal Pool Invertebrates of Conservation Priority” list;
    • Any invertebrates that occur in vernal pools, or in other ephemeral waters that support vernal pool invertebrates where finfish are generally absent; or
    • When the above taxa may be incidentally captured during otherwise SCP exempt activities (e.g., using methods such as pitfall traps).
Some lands, such as National Parks and State Parks, still require collecting permits so continue to follow the permitting process for these. Other lands, such as Regional Parks, ask for your California SCP, not knowing the the rules have changed. Feel free to have them contact the Collections Manager & Curatorial Supervisor at the Essig Museum of Entomology, Peter T Oboyski, at 510.643.0804. 
Save Mount. Diablo Project 

We have finished our field collections for Mt. Diablo for this season and are now in the process of identifying bees. This year we implemented the use of pantraps to capture bees which we expect to have brought some more species to our collections. Our Mt. Diablo is still a work in progress as of now. 

Avocado Pollination Study / Ventura Farming Project

We have finished calculating how many different species we have collected from our farm work in Ventura. In 2015 we collected 21 new bee species, in 2016 there were 9 new species, 2017 brought 14 new bee species, and 2018 found 18 new species. Our Avocado work in Ventura is also progressing. We are currently in the process of identifying the wasps and flies that have been found on avocado flowers. So far our collections have shown a mix of several bees, flies, and wasps visiting these flowers, indicating that honeybees are not the only pollinators at work. This season has proved to have been very productive with our findings of different pollinators on avocado flowers. 

For future work we will be focusing on verifying pollination through extracting pollen off of the bees, flies, and wasps. We will also be looking into nocturnal pollinators of avocado flowers due to findings from New Zealand showing that this is occurring. 

Urban Brentwood Sampling 

Since 2015 we have collected around 62 species of bees. Of those species, 50 have been also been found in our agricultural work in Brentwood. Our current work is focusing on determining if there is a pattern of movement of bees from agricultural areas to urban environments in Brentwood. As of now it is becoming apparent that movement is happening more often once resources become scarce. 
Deals on Outreach Materials 

The California Bees & Blooms book is on sale online! You can also find the companion to the book, the flipbook Common Bees in California Gardens online. You can purchase both on ANRCatalog or Heyday Books, however they will be exclusively sold on ANRCatalog soon. Links provided below:


California Bees & Blooms delves into the relationships between California native bees and their host plants. This book serves as a great introduction to the 22 most common genera of native bees in California, along with information on how to grow 53 different kinds of bee-friendly plants. 

Common Bees in California Gardens is a pocket-sized flip book that serves as a guide to identifying 24 of the most commonly found bees in California gardens and landscapes. Filled with colorful photographs and vital information, it is the perfect companion to California Bees & Blooms that is printed to withstand its use in the field! 
If interested in attending contact Rachel Sullivan at
Upcoming Events:

Oct. 18, 2018. Berkeley Path Wanderers. At the Hillside Club at 7pm Dr. Gordon Frankie will be speaking regarding his book California Bees & Blooms alongside the author of Birds of Berkeley. Come join us!
Oct. 26, 2018. Marin Conservation League. Dr. Frankie and Marissa Chase will be speaking on behalf of the native bee species to the Marin Conservation League Committee. The talk will largely focus on the wildlife in open and connected lands of Marin, and how native bees plays into the landscape. 

Answers to Hollywood Buzz
1. False! Only female bees have stingers. 
2. True! Worker bees are solely female and perform the majority of the work for their hive. 
3. False! Flowers can only be pollinated by pollen from the same species. 
4.False! Flies, wasps, and bees are some of the many kinds of pollinators. However, bees are an incredibly important pollinator. 
5. True! All of the female offspring will have a different father, but the male offspring will be full brothers with other males since male drones are the result of unfertilized eggs. 
Bee of the Month – Agapostemon texanus

Also known as "sweat bees," these bright, medium-sized bees are usually metallic in color and slender bodied. Females are usually completely metallic green, at times with a brown or black abdomen. Males usually are smaller and more slender, and have green heads and thoraces, but yellow and dark striped abdomens. Males also have bicolored antennae swollen hind femurs. These bees are not to be mistaken with Osmia

There are 45 species in North and South America, with 5 species in California. Two species have been found at our garden site, but only A. texanus, also known as the "Ultra Green Sweat Bee," has been found at all of our sites. A. melliventris has only been found in two garden sites in southern California. 

Females are generalists and can be found on the sunflower family, Asteraceae. Females most often will nest in the soil in bare, flat ground. Some of the most commonly visited plants include Cosmos, Erigeron, Perovskia, Rosmarinus, and Rudbeckia

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