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UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab - The Buzz - September, 2017 
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Upcoming Publications 
 
1. "Farming for Native Bees in California

 
2. "Both native and non-native plants attract diverse bees to urban gardens in California"

 
3. "Common Bees in California Gardens" 
1. "Farming with Native Bees" is a manuscript in progress that will be published as a peer-reviewed scientific paper on our work in Brentwood. It will explore how the creation of on-farm bee habitat affected native bee species richness and abundance over the course of our seven year study. It will also explore questions of landscape ecology. 

2. This manuscript in progress will also be published as a peer-reviewed scientific paper. Using data from our urban survey work throughout California, it asserts that native bees will visit both native and non-native plants and that both provide important floral resources. It will also explore implications for bee habitat gardening.

3. "Common Bees in California Gardens" is an expanded version of our popular bee identification flipbooklet. It has passed peer review with UC-ANR and will be printed and available this fall. Its intended audience is gardeners, naturalists, and other non-academic audiences interested in identifying the native bees that might be visiting their gardens. Check our Facebook page and website for updates!
 

Saying Goodbye to Chris!
 
Chris has been working in the Lab with us for a total of three years. He began as an undergraduate researcher when he was a sophomore at Cal and transitioned into a full-time researcher after graduating in December of 2016 with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies and a minor in Education. Chris will be applying to graduate school with an interests in environmental education and community-based conservation. Chris has contributed to much of our Lab's fieldwork, educational outreach programming, and publications over the past years, and will still be contributing until he starts graduate school next year. He has left big shoes to fill here in our lab, and we know he will make a huge impact in all his future studies. 
 
Trap Nest Study Update

Earlier this year in late February, UC Urban Bee Lab researchers set out trap nests on twenty farm sites in Brentwood, CA to better understand nesting behaviors of cavity-nesting bees in agricultural areas. We hope to learn more about these bees' nesting behaviors and how farmers can better provide nesting opportunities for cavity-nesting bee species (e.g. does their proximity to habitat gardens affect nesting rates?). Since February, we have recorded a total of 146 fills. We will identify the nesting species upon their emergences. Some occupants that have already emerged are Megachile sp. and varying wasp species. This is a pilot study we hope to further develop in 2018 and beyond. 

Pictured below are two images that we have captured while collecting data. On the left is a picture of a trap nest filled by a female Megachile sp.. Although it is difficult to see in this picture, you can see actual leaf matter plugging the hole. Megachile spp. is commonly known as the leaf-cutting bee, aptly named because females cut leaves to construct nest cells. On the right is a Megachile sp. individual that emerged from one of the blocks. Once we see that a hole is filled in the trap nest, we take the block, cap it with a plastic container, and wait for the bee to emerge.
Upcoming Events:

September 9 - We will be giving a presentation at the annual fall workshop and plant sale put on by the UC Master Gardeners of Contra County. 


After this presentation we currently do not have any upcoming talks, events, or workshops. If you would like us to come and speak at an event, conference, workshops, etc., visit our website and send us a presentation request!
Centaurea solstitialis, or Yellow Star Thistle, is a weedy plant currently flowering at Mt. Diablo that we are still collecting species such as Megachile sp. and Anthophora sp. from. We have been sampling at Mt. Diablo since April as a part of a survey funded by Save Mt. Diablo. It's one of the few plant species still in bloom on the mountain! Although it's a great bee attractor, we don't recommend planting it in your garden due to its high potential for becoming invasive. 
September Bee of the Month


Above: Female Colletes hyalinus guadialis on a seaside daisy
Our September Bee of the Month is Colletes sp., otherwise known as the polyester bee!  Colletes sp. and all other genera within the family have this name because the females are able to secrete a special polyester material from a gland in their abdomen. They use this secretion to line their nests that they construct in soil or sandstone. 

Although it's nearing autumn and many flowering periods of your favorite garden plants are coming to a close, there are many bee species out and about still gathering nectar and pollen. One of these bees is Colletes sp..

Colletes sp. is out from late spring into autumn in California. Females are mostly generalists in their pollen collections, but have preferences for some Asteraceae. If you have Solidago in your garden, you might have Colletes sp..

Colletes sp. is in the tiny family of Colletidae. California only has two genera within it- Colletes and Hylaeus, and they are very easy to tell apart. Colletes spp. are fuzzy, medium to tiny striped-bees, with a very apparent triangular-shaped face. Hylaeus spp. appear hairless, are smaller, all black, and usually have yellow face markings that look like a mask.
 
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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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