UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab - The Buzz - July, 2017 
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Sonoma Bee Count 2017 

This past weekend, on June 24, we held our annual Bee Count in Sonoma, CA at the Sonoma Garden Park, Nathanson Creek Park, and Gundlach-Bundschu Winery. This was the seventh year since we partnered with the Sonoma Ecology Center. This event is part of a ten year study where citizen scientists monitor bee diversity three urban sites within the Sonoma Garden Park. This allows us to track native bee populations within Sonoma and look at the effectiveness and need for citizen scientists in research.

This year was a great turnout! We had ten citizen scientists in total. Some had already done the bee count and some were completely new to native bee sampling. The day began with an introduction on types of native bees, their habitats and nesting requirements, native vs. non-native plants, urban bee work, bee plant preferences, and the usefulness of citizen science. We then briefed the volunteers on catching technique. After three hours in the field collecting bees through netting and pan-trapping, volunteers then learned how to pin the bees themselves.

The Sonoma Bee Count is held on the last Saturday of every June. If you're interested in partipating, mark you calender for next year! We would like to also thank Shelley Arrowsmith for all her help in organizing the event, Alana Coburn for providing many of the much needed food and ammenities, and all of the volunteers for making this year's bee count a wonderful time. 
Saying Goodbye to Sara and Mary

We wanted to give a special thanks to two key members of our team. Sara Leon Guerreo, who has been a researcher and lab manager for six years, Mary Schindler, who has been our grant writer for the past ten years, are both moving on to new and exciting adventures. We can't thank them enough for their dedication and work over the years. 
Sara started working in our lab after taking Professor Frankie's class as an undergraduate student and graduating with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies. She has been involved in every aspect of our work ever since and has done an outstanding job as both our lab manager and a research associate, proving to be a master administrator, scientist, and mentor. She's moving on to be the Operations Manager at the HEAL Food Alliance, a non-profit dedicated to food justice, health, and sustainability. We know she'll continue to do amazing work, and we were so lucky to have her be a part of this lab for so long! She is leaving big shoes to fill. 
Mary also took a class from Dr. Frankie as an undergraduate and graduated with a degree in English from UC Berkeley. She has worked with Lab for over a decade, wearing numerous hats and fulfilling various roles. More recently she has been our grant manager. Mary's passion, guidance, and presence in the Lab over these past years has propelled our research forward, and we know she will continue to succeed with her future work. While we will miss her lively presence and valuable contributions to our projects, we are excited to see what she brings to her new position at the Youth Leadership Institute. 
Above: Photo of Ingrid Feng (lab assistant) and Adelle Wallrich (student researcher) at the Bird and Butterfly Festival at Coyote Hills Regional Park talking to attendees about native bees and our research.
Upcoming Events:

July 25 - We will be giving a public talk at the Delta Informal Gardeners' monthly meeting at 7:30 pm in Brentwood, CA.

August 12 - Marissa will be holding a bee-home workshop at the Peralta Community Garden from 1-3 pm in Berkeley, CA. 

August 22-25 - Gordon will be attending the UC Master Gardeners conference in Long Beach, CA and giving a presentation.

See our website or contact us for more detils. 
Vitex agnus-castus, is a tree in the mint family that is currently flowering on some of our partner farms, particularly Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood, CA. It has beautiful purple blooms (seen above) and attracts dozens of bee species, particularly in hot climates!
July Bee of the Month

Above: Male Peponapis pruinosa inside of a squash flower 
Our July Bee of the Month is Peponapis pruinosa, the squash bee! This golden-colored bee is aptly named due to female squash bees’ pollen specialist behavior on cucurbit flowers (Cucurbita spp.). Pictured above, these squash bees are medium-sized, have hairy thoraxes, and the females (when collecting) will have pollen on their hind legs
This bee can be seen in a wide range of places all across North America. Their emergences are synced with the opening of cucurbit flowers. Females start to visit flowers as early as 5 am, when some cucurbit flowers, like squash, begin to open. The best time of day to see them is earlier in the day. Male squash bees can be found sleeping in closed squash flowers in the afternoon.

 This past weekend on June 24, during the Sonoma Bee Count, one of our citizen scientists caught a squash bee off a squash flower!
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UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab · Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley · 130 Mulford Hall #3114 · Berkeley, Ca 94720 · USA

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