I hope you have been hanging in there. It has been a tough week for everyone with COVID cases still holding steady in Ohio and the continued protests across the nation. It has been hard to keep up with all the news as each day seems to be a barrage of new reports. Be sure to take a break, hydrate, and rest up when you need it.
This week, I have two more handouts that might be useful to you. For those putting out traps on public property or parking in weird places while they place their traps, I have created a Survey Car Display. Feel free to print this off and place it folded on your dash when you are setting traps. For those setting traps at public parks, feel free to give your parks contacts a copy of this Bee Survey Bulletin, which can be placed on bulletin boards.
Also, if you missed it last week, here is the link to the Field Guide to Ohio Bees (with updated table of contents): Bees of Ohio_ A Field GuideV1.1.1
Collection kit sampling reminder: For those of you with collection kits, 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 Saturday, 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.
If you can no longer put out your collection kit, please let me know so we can work on getting the kit into the hands of another volunteer instead.
Bee facts of the week:
- Striped Sweat Bees (Agapostemon spp) are most abundant in the mid to late summer in Ohio. We expect to find 4 species of Striped Sweat Bees in Ohio. Like most bees in Ohio, the Striped Sweat Bees are ground nesters, digging small holes in the ground in areas with less vegetation. They are considered generalists and can be found foraging on many flower types. In my research in Cleveland, they were documented foraging on Chicory (Chicorium intybus), Narrow leaf Plantain (Plantago lanceolata), White Clover (Trifolium repens), Lanceleaf Coreopsis (Coreopsis lanceolata), among others.
ID tip of the week:
- Striped Sweat Bees (Agapostemon spp) always have a bright green thorax with either a black and white, black and yellow, or green abdomen. The all green Striped Sweat bees are likely confused with the other bright green sweat bees in the Tribe Augochlorini (Augochlora, Augochlorella, Augochloropsis). These other bright green sweat bees are smaller and do not have the distinct raised line on the back of the thorax (see pg 90 of the Bees of Ohio_ A Field GuideV1.1.). The Striped Sweat Bees with the black and white abdomen are female Bicolored Striped Sweat bees (Agapostemon virescens). This is the bee on your survey transect signs. The Striped Sweat Bees that are all green are females of either Agapostemon seriecus, Agapostemon splendens (sand specialist – rare in Ohio), or Agapostemon texanus). The Striped Sweat bees with black and yellow abdominal patterns are all males and not easily identified to species from a photo. For a key to species, see: https://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Agapostemon
- 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!
- This week, I want to highlight more flies that might be in your bycatch. As with last week, I plan to focus on a single family of flies, in this case the Snipe Flies (Family Rhagionidae)! To start, look at this bowl and try to guess which ones are Snipe flies.
- There are around 100 species of Snipe Flies in 8 genera in North America with around 750 species worldwide. Our common ones are somewhat large, with long tapering abdomens. I find Snipe flies most often in woods, though I occasionally find them hunting in turf grass. As with the Longlegged flies from last week, Snipe flies are predatory and feed on a variety of small insects. More information about these flies can be found here: https://bugguide.net/node/view/116
Is that a bee?
- In this brief section, I will show a photo of a bee bowl and let you guess how many of the insects are actually bees. Don’t worry about properly identifying bees in your bowls for now, as we will go through processing them together at the pinning parties in the fall. This is just so you can start to recognize some of the bees during the season and get an idea of how many bees you actually have.
Okay, did you make your guesses?
And that is all I have for you this week. May the weather cooperate for your sampling and may you stay safe.