September Bee Update – Lasio Progress, September Bees, and New Cabinets!

This was the status of all that was left of our “easy” Lasioglossum on the 14th of September! We made it through the rest by the next day!

Bring out the kazoos! I made it through the 22,000 Lasioglossum, identifying what I could and setting aside the hardest ones for later. From that large hoard of bees, I was able to confidently identify about 18,000 of them to species! It helps that a large chunk of them were either Lasioglossum versatum or L. hitchensi. There are about 2,000 of the hardest Lasioglossum specimens left, which I will go back through later once I get more experience in these remaining tricky groups. About a quarter of those specimens are males, which I will likely lump as Lasioglossum sp. and call it a day. There were also a decent number of them that had lost heads or otherwise damaged during the washing and pinning process, so that group of bees were also left as Lasioglossum sp. and noted as damaged in the notes.


Now what?
We still have a few remaining groups from the 2020 bee bowls to identify. These include 193 Megachile, 159 Sphecodes, 325 Nomada, and 240 Osmia. Although they are lower numbers in comparison to the Lasioglossum, there will be a learning curve to properly identify them. So they will still take some time to get familiar with the different species. It also does not help that there are not as many recent publications on Sphecodes and Nomada, so those will be tricky to get through.

I reorganized the shelves to show the bulk of what is left to do in terms of ID for the 2020 bowl survey. We have 9 boxes of extra hard Lasioglossum, 2 boxes of Megachile, 1 box of Sphecodes, and 3 boxes of the non-bidentate Nomada.

Specialist bee project:

2021 specimens – We have a little over 1,900 specimens from the 2021 sampling. These still need identified, so once I make it through some of the bee bowl specimens, I will go back through and work on specialist bee samples.

2022 specimens – sampling is ongoing! September is still time for cool weird things like Pseudopanurgus and fall flying Andrena. So on nice days I will be doing field work and processing specimens from this summer. For those who are participating in the project, please work on getting them to me soon. I will be sending out emails to participants of the specialist project for specimen turn in logistics.


Other lab updates:

We have new cabinets! And they are in the lab!

It took a while for the new cabinets to be delivered to our building, but we have them and now have an assortment of colors! The 3 white ones are the new additions.

Inside each cabinet are 12 USNM drawers that will store the specimens that will go on to be archived at a museum. We are slowly having students transfer the identified specimens into the drawers for safekeeping. We also have many more drawers than will fit in the cabinets, as the drawers will be given to the museum (but the cabinets will stay in this lab).

All for now,

MaLisa

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