April 26 – Bowl Survey Updates

Last week we finished sorting 2 kits:  the rest of the kit by D. and V. Echternacht (Auglaize County) and the kit by S. Weade (Fayette County). We are over 23,283  bees pinned and databased. We had a slightly slower week with a student worker off and I also took Thursday off from the lab. However, thanks to our volunteers on Tuesday, we still made decent progress!

We still managed to pin almost 1,000 bees last week!

Bee Updates:

It has been a bit since I have talked about bees beyond the numbers per week. Well, check out these Mason bees (Osmia spp) from a few weeks ago. There are mason bees out flying now, but many people do not realize how much size variation there is between species. We have not been getting a lot of Osmia‘s in our samples, but this kit did have a couple specimens, so I decided to get a photo showing the size difference.

Differences in sizes of Osmia species

Closer view of the different Osmia mason bees. Most of the common mason bees will be on the smaller size, similar to the one on the right.

Specialist bee project:

We are making good progress on the specialist bee sampling! Below is an example shot of a single 15-minute sample from Spring Beauties, though most of my samples so far have averaged only 1-3 bees. Lots of cool things to be found this summer (though I will still be in the lab most of the time to deal with our backlog). I’m happy to see that there are already over 60 plant observations on our iNaturalist project, so hopefully we get some good data out of all of these.

Example sample from specialist bee project with piece of flower that accidentally fell into the net.

Helping in the lab in the age of Covid:

We had two volunteers in our lab this week! We greatly appreciate their help processing specimens.

Our volunteers happily showing off two of the boxes they helped fill with bees!

Wondering how you can help speed up our process? If you would like to come to the lab in Newark, there are several tasks that people can participate in. We will mostly have people start with pinning bees, but people can also be trained to sort bees from bycatch in samples, label specimens, or other lab tasks.

You do not have to be a collector to help out in the lab. You also do not have to help for the entire timeslot for a particular day, so if you are only interested in helping out for an hour or three, that still works. No one is obligated to spend the whole day pinning bees.

The lab is open to people interested in helping pin or sort specimens on a limited basis. The following caveats must be reached: 1)  you have been vaccinated against covid, or 2) you have already gotten covid and recovered. If you fit one of these exceptions and want to come to the lab to help out, please sign up here: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090F4BAEAC2EA6F58-beepinning

Note we are still required to have masks on while on OSU property. We are still limiting our rooms to a maximum of 3 people, but we have additional classrooms down the hall to expand our capacity if more people want to volunteer at once.

Want to see how to get vaccinated against Covid-19 in Ohio? See the vaccine distribution website here: https://vaccine.coronavirus.ohio.gov/

All for now,


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