Bee Survey

The Ohio Native Bee Survey via Collection Kits
Field Work Spring & Summer 2020

While Ohio is home to an estimated¬† 400-450 species of bees, there hasn’t until now been a concerted effort to sytematically document their presence, abundance and distribution in the Buckeye State. Shortly after the labs of Randy Mitchell (University of Akron) and Karen Goodell (The Ohio State University at Newark) performed a statewide study in 2017 and 2018 that focused on floral selection only by bumblebees, the Goodell lab, in a huge endeavor coordinated by MaLisa Spring, carried out a statewide suvey project with volunteer-managed sampling stations in all of Ohio’s 88 counties. The Ohio State Marion Prairie at the Larry R. Yoder Prairie Learning Lab was the sole Marion County survey site, where Associate Proferssors Emeritus Richard Bradley and Robert Klips served as collectors for the project.¬† The image below shows the Prairie path along which sample bowls were placed; they are (barely) visible as 9 dots evenly spaced along the left-hand fork of the trail.

Bradley and Klips visited the Prairie twice each week–once to set out blue, yellow, and white bee bowls (2 oz souffle cups filled with soapy water) and then, 24 hours later, to retrive them and place the captured bees in freezer bags for identification by Spring and her associates at Ohio State Newark. The photo below shows one of the 24 bowls that were arrayed 2 meters apart.

Further information about the bee survey is avialable on its blog site (link). Note that, while the field work for the Ohio Native Bee Survey via collection kits is completed, the next phase in the project, the Targeted Ohio Specialist Bee-Flower Associations Project (link) censusing bees found only on particular plants, is still underway and the investigators are welcoming volunteers.

Species No. of individuals
Ceratina dupla 263
Ceratina strenua 89
Lasioglossum anomalum 28
Ceratina calcarata 27
Lasioglossum hitchensi 26
Halictus confusus 17
Agapostemon virescens 13
Melissodes bimaculatus 12
Ceratina mikmaqi 9
Calliopsis andreniformis 7
Halictus ligatus 7
Andrena commoda 5
Andrena nasonii 4
Anthidium oblongatum 4
Apis mellifera 4
Augochlorella aurata 4
Hylaeus mesillae 4
Augochlora pura 3
Hylaeus affinis 3
Andrena erigeniae 2
Hylaeus illinoisensis 2
Lasioglossum obscurum 2
Lasioglossum versatum 2
Nomada cressonii 2
Anthophora terminalis 1
Bombus griseocollis 1
Coelioxys sayi 1
Hoplitis pilosifrons 1
Hylaeus modestus 1
Lasioglossum cressonii 1
Megachile rotundata 1
Melissodes subillatus 1
Nomada obliterata 1
Xylocopa virginica 1

Ceratina dupla
(Map and taxon profiles from Appendix B of the 2020 Ohio Bee Survey)

Ceratina dupla is in the family Apidae. It is a common small carpenter bee. These are a semi-social group of bees that nest in pithy stems in plants. They chew out the pith of the stems to make their nests. The females can be separated from calcarata and mikmaqi based on their densely punctate scutum. The females can be separated from strenua by their foreleg having only a reduced amount of yellow. The males are harder to identify, as they need a clear view of the hind femur edge.”

Ceratina strenua
(Map and taxon profiles from Appendix B of the 2020 Ohio Bee Survey)

Ceratina strenua is in the family Apidae. It is a common small carpenter bee. These are a semi-social group of bees that nest in pithy stems in plants. They chew out the pith of the stems to make their nests. The females have a foreleg with a long stripe of yellow (compared to a reduced dot of yellow in the other species females). The males have a widened hind femur (rules out dupla and mikmaqi) and narrow terminal flange (rules out calcarata).”

Ohio Bee Field Guides
(links to pdfs)

 

Bees of Ohio
Specialist Bees of Ohio