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UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab - The Buzz, Volume 11, July 2016
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Bees of Mount Diablo
 
     In early April, Dr. Frankie and Rollin Coville participated in a BioBlitz organized by Save Mount Diablo, a conservation organization that seeks to preserve Mt. Diablo's wildlands through land acquisition and environmental management. Through the BioBlitz, dozens of scientists and citizens teamed up to conduct ground-level biological surveys of the organisms that call Mt. Diablo home. Dr. Frankie and Rollin sampled several bee species from the mountain, including those from the genera Colletes, Bombus, Anthophora, Habropoda, Osmia, and more. The data they collected will add to the continuous surveying our Lab has been doing of the mountain with Save Mount Diablo's support for several years.

Members of our Lab team periodically visit Mt. Diablo to sample the bees that may be active at different times of the year. This work documents not just the presence of native bee species, but their relationships with the diverse flowering annuals and perennials covering the fields and slopes of the space. Much of our collecting occurs in Perkins Canyon on Mt. Diablo's North slope, where traces of the 2013 Morgan Fire in the form of charred tree trunks still dot the landscape amidst all of the blooms. This systematic surveying provides information can be used to inform later stewardship and management decisions on the mountain. 

                    
 

New Undergrads in Our Lab 
 
     UC Berkeley puts forward dozens of opportunities for undergraduates to get involved with faculty and graduate student research projects across multiple disciplines. Undergraduate research provides excellent experiential learning opportunities, making these opportunities highly desired by students. Most undergraduates who participate in on-campus research projects aid in focusing on specific, simple tasks such as data entry. Students in our Lab receive particularly unique opportunities to engage in all aspects of our work in urban, wild land, and agricultural settings. They join us for fieldwork, help in our garden, pin and label bee specimens, and often spearhead their own projects! Their assistance is critical to our Lab's success.

Chris, Chiara, Ingrid, Marissa, and Ginger are undergraduates who have worked in our Lab for the past one to two years through the College of Natural Resource's SPUR (Sponsored Projects for Undergraduate Research) program and URAP(Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program). We're glad that they'll continue to be working with us in the Fall semester! We are also excited to be welcoming four new undergraduate students to our Lab this summer: Kavya, Kristen, Andrea, and Ben. Nearly all are studying aspects of the environment in different major programs within our department, Environmental Sciences, Policy, and Management. We are looking forward to getting to know them and having them play a role in our work!
Above: Images of sunrise and leafcutter bee activity at the Hastings Natural History Reserve in Carmel Valley where we taught a workshop on California native bee ecology and identification from June 1st-5th in partnership with the UC Jepson Herbarium. 
Upcoming Events:
 
July 13 - Sara will be talking at the Clayton Garden Club's monthly meeting in the East Bay. See here for details. 

July 13 - Gordon will be in Napa talking about California's native bees at the Main Library as part of the Napa County Resource Conservation District's lecture series. Details here

July 16 - Docent Tour of the UC Berkeley Bee Garden. See 'Events' Page on website (helpabee.org) for details. This tour is free and will focus on gardening for native bees. Spread the word! 

August 20 - Docent Tour of the UC Berkeley Bee Garden. See 'Events Page on website (helpabee.org) for details. This tour is free and will focus on gardening for native bees. Spread the word!


Interested in bringing us to an event? Fill out a presentation request form here
The LA Times quoted Jaime Pawelek and featured some of our work in their article on easy ways to "help save the bees" here. Check it out!
Featured CA Bee:
 Melissodes spp.


As sunflowers are starting to bloom, keep an eye peeled for one of their most common visitors: Melissodes sp. This summer bee, commonly known as the Long-Horned Bee, is medium-sized and stout-bodied. Males have very long antennae, hence their common name. Brightly colored pollen loads on the legs identify the female bees. They can be seen foraging May-September but are most common in June and July. 

Males often sleep together in aggregations on the floral heads of Asteraceae such as Cosmos bipinnatus. and Helianthus annuus. Careful examination in the early morning before temperatures warm up will often reveal several sleeping together!

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