Category: facts

#20 in the CAMPAIGN TO KNOW YOUR WILD BEESWh…

#20 in the CAMPAIGN TO KNOW YOUR WILD BEES

While there is a lot of talk of bee decline,..

We know so very little about the actual status of bees that we may have species that need to be listed, but you can’t list something unless you know something about its status. I like to encourage people to submit photos of bees to BugGuide as well as to i-naturalist particularly if they start targeting uncommon plants and their visitors. Traditional collecting of bees for museums is even better. For example, yesterday, within a mile of the laboratory I was poking around and came across a large patch of deerberry and sure enough the very uncommonly recorded specialist (and most people very rare) species Panurginus atramontenis were all over the bloom. I easily could’ve caught over hundred. Just one example where poking around in the right place can yield big results. Bombus affinis is our one endangered species, a bumblebee, and therefore something that people have paid attention to over the years. As part of a larger syndrome of decline due to pathogens brought over from Europe the species is particularly hard-hit and largely restricted to the upper Midwest and Appalachia. Again, take pictures, submit them to Bumblebee Watch and to the other two places I mentioned and maybe we can find some additional specimens.

Number 19 in our series of postings and part o…

Number 19 in our series of postings and part of our CAMPAIGN TO KNOW YOUR WILD BEES. 

Here we illuminate the problem that many gardeners face… What do I plant? Weeds and other garden plants sometimes attract tons of bees, is this helpful? Well, it is helpful in that many bees come to these plants to forage on pollen and even the specialist bees will come to for the quick energy that nectar provides . However, similar to birdfeeders, most of these plants are feeding the bees that are doing quite well; the sparrow and pigeon bees if you will. Native plants, on the other hand, have had millions of years to synchronize with the local wild bee fauna. As such, there’s a great deal of specialization and general community membership that goes beyond bees, these are plants that have numerous associations with other native denizens of our wild scapes, other insects, bacteria, fungi and interplay with plant communities that foster many uncommon and rare species. Without these native plants a good deal of our native bees would disappear and bringing with them would be many other plants and animals. So, it makes most sense to start your gardens with native plants and backfill with some of the traditional plants that you will love.

Wild bees, usually do not travel far to gath…

Wild bees, usually do not travel far to gather pollen.  They take up residence wherever they find sufficient flowers…like your backyard maybe? Number 18 in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN.

#17 of the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN. Wil…

#17 of the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN. Wild bees and plants have cocreated flowers. We have added our tweaks, but they are trivial compared to the bee’s contributions.

Number 16.  THE CAMPAIGN TO KNOW YOUR WILD BEE…

Number 16.  THE CAMPAIGN TO KNOW YOUR WILD BEES.

In a rough world where you can be eaten at any moment.  There is usefulness in being able to make self-supporting capsules for your babies with enough food and liquid to last a year.

Number 14 in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN.

Number 14 in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN.

Plant biodiversity is the answer to the bigger question of how do we keep all our bee species around. Planting flowers is always a good thing, this definitely increases the overall number of bees in any location. However, what it does is increase the overall number of generalist bees, that are happy to make do with many kinds of flowers, and often do well simply on weeds. The truth is that to affect conservation of all bee species we have to retain wild areas, maintain natural areas, and be the caretakers of rich, bio diverse, plant communities that provide the necessary pollen for all the species, particularly the ones that are highly specialized and therefore using plants we are unlikely to plant in our gardens or in pollinator meadows. Look around you, what can you do to help keep plant communities healthy; pull invasive species, provide disturbance in those environments that are early successional, control deer populations, and support others who do these things professionally. Good luck pilgrim.

Pow, Pow, Pow The females build the houses, ge…

Pow, Pow, Pow The females build the houses, get the groceries.  Males, just mate (and die young).

#11 in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

#10 in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN

#10 in the KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN

The problem with alien bees.

1% is low, but some recent pilgrims to the U.S. are now building up populations to levels where they dominate some capture events.

Do we have a problem? Right now, maybe not so much, but in the future…the answer is probably we will.  Just look at the ladybug situation.  Almost all the ladybugs you see are…not from this continent.

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

Parasites.  Why not let others do your work?

Parasites.  Why not let others do your work?

#9 – KNOW YOUR WILD BEES CAMPAIGN

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege

Would the public changes its attitude towards …

Would the public changes its attitude towards bees if they realized that they were really just wasps?

Number eight in the Know Your Wild Bees Campaign

All original pictures completely public domain and available at our Flickr site: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usgsbiml/

Photography Information: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-_yvIsucOY

Follow us on Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/usgsbiml/

Download our free field guide to the genera of bees:http://bio2.elmira.edu/fieldbio/beesofmarylandbookversion1.pdf

Public Bee Servant, sam droege