UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab - The Buzz - May, 2017 
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The Urban Bee Lab receives Disney Conservation Grant

     We are excited to announce that we are a Disney Conservation Fund (DCF) grant recipient for our work to support California's native bees in urban gardens! The DCF focuses on reversing the decline of wildlife and increasing the time kids spend in nature. Since its inception in 1995, DCF has provided approximately $65 million to support conservation programs in 115 countries. We are honored to receive support for this important ongoing survey project.
     With this grant, we will be integrating field research and community outreach in our efforts to monitor native bees around the state of California's gardens since our extensive work on this topic began in 2000. The project's overarching goal is to develop information and effective tools to conserve the 400+ species of California's bees that we have recorded in urban areas. Recognizing cities and towns as bee diversity hotspots is a critical part of the strategy to protect and restore native pollinators. Emerging patterns suggest that, if properly designed, urban areas may be particularly important reservoirs for native bees. We are thrilled to play a role in discovering more information on this topic with the Disney Conservation Fund's support.

Above: Photo of the bee garden we installed in January, 2016 at the Jim-Lloyd Butler Ranch in Saticoy, CA. After the heavy winter rains this year, the bee plants are growing beautifully and attracting dozens of native species that we are now seeing visit flowers on avocado trees (several of which you can see to the left). 
Upcoming Events:

June 4 - We will have a table at the Butterfly and Bird Festival at Coyote Hills Regional Park in Fremont, CA from 10 am to 4 pm. 

June 12 - Chris will be giving a talk on "Creating a Bee-Friendly Garden" in Pacifica, CA, at 6:30 PM. 

June 17 - Our annual Sonoma Bee Count will be taking place all day - contact Shelley Arrowsmith ( if interested in being a citizen scientist!
Calandrina spectabilis in flower - an excellent bee plant commonly available at local nurseries! 
May Bee of the Month

Above: Female Agapostemon texanus on Red Buckwheat 
Our May Bee of the Month is Agapostemon texanus, the Ultra-Green Sweat Bee! We were extremely excited to have recorded individuals of this species visiting avocado flowers in Southern California last month, our first record of native bees on avocado flowers in our several years of having partnered with farmers in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. We think several years of drought may play a role in why we haven't seen bees on the flowers until now. 

Agapostemon texanus is a medium to small, slender-bodied bee that is notable because of its bright metallic green color. While females are entirely metallic green, the males have a yellow-and-dark striped abdomen. This bee is very common; we have recorded it visiting all of our urban monitoring sites across the state. They fly from April to October with peak flight activity from May to September. Females are broad generalists and enjoy plants like Rudbeckia, Gaillardia, Sphaeralcea, Calandrina, etc. Keep an eye out for them in your garden!
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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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