Oct 5th – Drop off reminders and updates for the week

It is officially sweater weather and perhaps even pumpkin spice late season in central Ohio. I’m sure the rest of Ohio has also experienced the recent drop in temperature that likely brings a sharp decrease in bee activity. So feel free to wrap up sampling if it is getting too chilly in the morning.

Drop off information:
Thanks again to everyone who has completed the drop off survey! We have improved to about a 67% completion rate, so if you haven’t filled out the survey yet, please do so. I will send a reminder email later this week directly to those who I do not yet have a completed survey. If you are having trouble filling out the survey or are unsure how to get the gps coordinates, just fill out what you can and leave a comment at the end so I can try to help.

Early Drop off locations: If you want to turn in your kits before mid-October, consider dropping off your kit to the Akron or Newark locations. Be sure to email or call the location in advance so they know you plan to drop off any specimens and can make sure someone is there to accept them.

  • OSU Newark Campus: Goodell Lab in Adena Hall (contact MaLisa Spring spring.99@osu.edu)
  • The Dawes Arboretum in Newark (contact Livia Raulinaitis lhraulinaitis@dawesarb.org)
  • Akron Biological Field Station (contact Lara Roketenetz ldr11@uakron.edu or Dr. Randy Mitchell rjm2@uakron.edu) – only an early drop off location.

What to drop off:

  • Your sample box with specimens. Please write your name and county on the top and side of the box with sharpie. Please also label any additional boxes or containers if you ran out of space in your initial box.
  • Signed and completed paper form that includes GPS coordinates, type of soap used, specimen archival acknowledgement, and additional contact info for parks. (first page here: https://cpb-us-w2.wpmucdn.com/u.osu.edu/dist/2/86606/files/2020/05/Bee-Survey-Instructions-1-1.pdf)
  • All remaining sampling supplies, including any remaining bee bowls/paint strainers/etc.
  • A copy of any permits that you acquired to sample at your site (applies to people sampling at parks and preserves)
  • Optional: If you are able, please consider making a donation to help with the cost of the pinning and curation supplies. Thanks to all of our successful bee collectors, we are in need of thousands of vials, pins, collection boxes, and other curatorial supplies. A donation of $5 buys a pack of pins, and $70 buys an insect drawer for long term specimen storage, so every little bit helps! Anyone can donate to the project here: https://www.giveto.osu.edu/makeagift/OnlineGivingDonation.aspx?fund=317067&gs=include   Thanks to those who have already donated!

See the previous post to see how we plan to process the specimens: https://u.osu.edu/beesurvey/2020/09/22/sept-20-specimen-drop-off-info-collection-reminder-and-facts-of-the-week/

Other frequently asked questions:

Will I get a report for my results?
Yes! Everyone who participated will be emailed a list of species that was collected and identified from their site. For people collecting at parks and other locations, I will also send the report to that agency as well. Note that the focus will be on the bees, so only a select amount of the bycatch will be identified and counted. The list will mostly be focused on bee species and whatever else we can identify and pin properly. If we are able to identify anything else, we will try to include that in the reports. Any remaining bycatch will be given to other researchers and archived in a museum for future use.

Are you still going to do pinning training?
I am still working out the logistics for one on one pinning training for people who can make it to Newark. These will have to be scheduled in advance, but once I have the details down I will try to make them available here or via direct email. I am still trying to make sure we get all of the collection dates input into the database so we can have large batches of labels available first.

Will you do a zoom meeting to show us the sorting and pinning process?
I got our microscope camera working, so I can at least show people some bees up close and personal.  I will schedule a date later in the fall to show everyone some bees.

Bee facts of the week:

Since I am running out of different genera to cover in the facts of the week, I figured I would cover some general bee biology instead, this week focusing on the impacts of temperature on bees.

Insects are generally ectotherms, which is just a fancy word to say they are generally dependent on the temperature of the surrounding environments and tend to slow down when things get colder. Another example of an ectotherm are reptiles, which we often call “cold blooded.”

Being an ectotherm means that most insects do not move as fast (or at all) in colder weather, especially under temperatures of 40 degrees F. This also means that the insects are likely to be more active once things warm up again, assuming they have not died off from a hard frost in the meantime.

One notable exception that are able to resist the cold are bumblebees, which are capable of using their large muscles to generate some heat and fly later into the season when most other bees are gone.

Above is a view inside a bumblebee nest, where you can see the bright red glow of the heat created from their thoraxes. However, after a certain point in the season, most of the bumblebee colony dies off and only the new queens survive. These new queens leave the nest, mate, and then go out to find a safe spot to overwinter.

Meanwhile, honey bees (which are not native), stay alive all winter as a colony.

This second video shows the honey bee hives in winter. Although the video is meant to be a promo video to sell the camera imaging system, it is still cool to see the heat generated by the hives themselves.

What’s that bycatch?

I will hopefully have another bycatch post for next week, but I am skipping this week.

Is that a bee?

  • In this 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.  This is just so you can start to recognize some of the bees and get an idea of how many bees you actually have.

How many bees do you see? Are there any bees at all in this cup?





Okay, did you make your guesses?

There are 18 bees in this cup! The bees appear to be mostly in the family Halictidae. There are also at least three flies, which are not circled.

And that is all I have! Please be sure to check your email and respond to the drop off survey to figure out when/where to drop off your specimens.


Best wishes,


One thought on “Oct 5th – Drop off reminders and updates for the week

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *