Kit Collection Reminder – Week of May 17th

Hi Everyone!
This is your reminder to try to put out your traps sometime this week.
If you haven’t received your kit yet, please let me know. If you received two kits on accident, please let me know that as well.
If you are sampling on land that is not your own, be sure to get collection permission before hand. If you haven’t gotten permission yet and are running into issues getting permission, please reach out to MaLisa via email.
Check the weather for your part of Ohio for the day you hope to sample. For those of us in central Ohio, our sampling prospects don’t look very promising for a few days. Note that weather predictions past 3 days tend to be pretty iffy, so check the weather forecast regularly. If the forecast looks like it is more than a 25% chance of rain, do not sample on that day.
Filter issues: 
As you may have already seen, some people were able to put their traps out this weekend and ran into some issues with our paint strainers not holding up. There are some slight differences in paper quality from the strainers I initially saw and the ones we had to reorder, but we can make due.
Denise was on the ball and already posted a potential solution by using a coffee strainer on our webpage here: https://u.osu.edu/beesurvey/2020/05/17/paint-filter-issue-and-a-solution/
Dianne also sent us an email saying that the plastic cones for pour over coffee works well to hold them in the field too. I imagine a large cooking strainer or sieve would also make it slightly easier to hold them in the field if you have one of those lying in the depths of your kitchen.  Brooks worked out a short term solution using the zipoc bag to hold the strainer as well, so you have a few options.

Dianne’s coffee filter cone works well to hold the paint filters in the field.

Bee facts of the week: 
  • Many mining bees (Andrena spp) are flying right now! So expect to get a few in your traps. Ohio is expected to have about 100 species, but with your help, we should find out! Many of these mining bees are floral specialists, which means they rarely stray onto other flower types. For a few examples, see: https://jarrodfowler.com/specialist_bees.html
ID tip of the week:
  • Mining bees (Andrena spp) are mostly black or brown. Female mining bees have distinct facial fovea (vertical eyebrows) and extra fluffy “armpit” hairs, which help differentiate them from other groups. Size can be varies by species, with some half the size of honey bees and others a bit larger.
What’s that bycatch?
  • Sometimes other small insects also land in our traps. Although they are not our intended focus of this project, I will try to give a little bit of info about different insect groups we might see in our traps. So hopefully you learn a little other entomology along with all of our awesome bee knowledge.
  •  This week, Bill found many adult sawflies in his traps. The larvae of this group look a lot like moth caterpillars, but have extra sets of legs and smaller eyes. Similar to moth caterpillars, most sawfly larvae feed on plants, and can be host specific. Adult sawflies can be confused  with bees, other wasps, and sometimes flies. They have rather chunky bodies and lack the characteristic narrowed waist found in bees.  For more info on Sawflies, see: https://bugguide.net/node/view/112
Best wishes,
MaLisa Spring

5 thoughts on “Kit Collection Reminder – Week of May 17th

  1. I didn’t get my kit in SW Ohio until Wed and there has not been a dry 24 hour period since I got it. And it’s not looking good for SW Ohio this week, either!

  2. Looks like lots of rain here for the next 2 weeks. Should I try to set them out anyway this week or wait for a sunny …No rain day. Will information for you be helpful this week or not. ?

    • Definitely wait for a non-rainy day. We expect to have several weeks where people won’t get to sample due to the rain. Rain bounces out the specimens of the cups, so we don’t want to waste the specimens that get caught and then bounced out by the rain. Then they would have died in vain.

      Plus fewer bees tend to fly when it is cloudy, so the catch is likely to be rather small on the scattered shower days. Just keep an eye on the weather, as the forecasts change a lot out past three days. So it might look like a bad forecast now, but it might not actually rain 3 days from now. Or the reverse, in my case, the forecast for Thursday at my site was listed at a 25% chance of rain this morning, but the updated forecast has changed to an 80% chance of rain.

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