This is your reminder to try to put out your traps sometime this week. Be sure to wait at least 7 days from your last sampling. So if you set your traps on Saturaday, you need to wait until next Saturday before considering whether to trap again.
Check the weather for your part of Ohio for the day you hope to sample. 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.
Additional filter “hacks”:
I love working with large groups of Ohioans, because together we are really good at problem solving. The filters definitely don’t hold up well to all the water from our cups, so having something else to hold them makes them less likely to rip.
I used a kitchen strainer to hold mine, which worked fine (and we weren’t using it for anything in the kitchen anyways). It still isn’t perfect, but it gets the job done.
Elizabeth created her own milk jug carrying containers: one to hold the stacked cups, and another to pour the cup contents into (and then pour that through the strainer once back home).
Rich and Bob used a funnel for support of the filter, which also works well. Funnels can be found at most stores in the kitchen or automotive section.
So hopefully one of these options will work for your samples. See previous posts for other filter workarounds.
Bee facts of the week:
- Small Carpenter bees (Ceratina spp) have started to emerge! Ohio has 4 species of Ceratina, but they can be somewhat challenging to differeniate (especially calcarata/mikmaqi/dupla). All of our species are in the subgenus Zadontomerus, so if you submit any small carpenter bee photos to iNaturalist, they will likely get tagged as that. The Small Carpenter bees are stem nesters, choosing to chew through the pith of broken plant stems from the previous year. They can be semi-social, with weird family structures. See: Nesting biology and subsociality in Ceratina calcarata (Hymenoptera: Apidae)
ID tip of the week:
- Small Carpenter bees (Ceratina spp) are small bees with a darker metallic greenish tint. Female Small Carpenter bees often have a small yellow spot on the center of their face (on the clypaeus), whereas males have a much larger “sombrero” patch of yellow. For the Discoverlife key and images of characters, see: https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Ceratina
What’s that bycatch?
- Sometimes other small insects or arthropods 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 groups we might see in our traps. So hopefully you learn a little entomology along with all of our awesome bee knowledge. If you want a specific group covered that you are seeing a lot of in your traps, let me know!
- I finally got a break in the rain, so my cups got deployed this weekend. The first few traps I picked up, I noticed I had several small springtails (Class Collembola) in my cups! These are very easily overlooked or mistaken for specks of dust or dirt in your bowls. Springtails are a rather diverse group of hexapods that were once considered insects, but are now their own Class (like how insects are now in Class Insecta). There are over 8,000 species of springtails worldwide and an unknown number of species occur in Ohio. Almost all of them are really small, and thus easily overlooked. They are mostly decomposers and rarely considered pests. Many have thin, elongate bodies, though the order of Globular Sprintails are a notable exception. See Springtail Orders here: https://bugguide.net/node/view/258362/bgpage
Also check out this awesome high speed video on the “spring” of these wonderful beasts!