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:
- Dull Green Sweat Bees (Lasioglossum [Dialictus] spp) are bees in the subgenus Dialictus, which are in the genus Lasioglossum. This genus is extremely diverse, with almost 100 species thought to occur in Ohio. There are other subgenera of Lasioglossum, but they aren’t as common. Dull Green Sweat Bees are also the ones that are known to land on people to drink their sweat. They are getting vital minerals by doing so, but are at risk of being swatted by us. They will generally drink the sweat and fly away, but if they get caught in a crease (say behind your knees or inner part of your elbow), they might sting out of fear of being squashed. Most nest in the ground and have been occasionally found to nest in the soil of flower pots as well. Almost all bees in the genus Lasioglossum are thought to be generalist foragers, meaning they are found collecting pollen from many different plant groups. There are three floral specialists in the genus Lasioglossum on Jarrod Fowlers website, but they are not in the subgenus Dialictus.
ID tip of the week:
- Dull Green Sweat Bees (Lasioglossum [Dialictus] spp) are small bees with a slightly green metallic tint. They are most often confused with Small Carpenter Bees (Ceratina spp), which are less hairy and tend to be a darker metallic blue/green instead of the lighter olive green (but this all depends on lighting too). The Dull Green Sweat Bees will never have hair bands at the end of the abdominal segments, but might have patches of hair at the base of their abdominal segments instead. The positioning of hair bands can also differentiate them from the genus Halictus.
- 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 Thrips! Like the Springtails we covered in the first week, Thrips are tiny specks that are easily overlooked in traps. I had several in my bowls this week that looked like little grass anthers.
- Thrips are in the Order Thysanoptera and can be plant pests, though there are several subgroups that specialize on weird food sources such as fungi, leaf litter, or other insects. We have an estimated 700 described species of Thrips in North America, though they are so small that they are easily overlook. There are another 200 undescribed species in North America that taxonomists are presumably still working on writing up. Thrips are typically really small and often either black, black and white, or yellow. There are winged and wingless species, but those that do have wings have distinct fringed edges, assuming you can get enough magnification to see the fringes. See more info on thrips here: https://bugguide.net/node/view/7754
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. 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.