A mite rides the wing of this black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus. “Some mites hitch rides on bees and are innocent to them,” tour chief Dylan Winkler stated. (Picture by Dylan Winkler)
The Atlas, a community-science collaboration launched in March 2022 by the California Division of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, seeks to trace and study extra about California’s native bumble bees. The Atlas is coaching citizen scientists to gather knowledge to assist preserve declining species.
“It was a small occasion however plenty of enjoyable,” stated tour chief Dylan Winkler, bumble bee scientific aide for the CDFW’s Wildlife Range Program who works intently with Hillary Sardiñas, the Xerces state pollinator coordinator.
Winkler performed the ten a.m. area day on Saturday, Might 28 and invited the general public to take part.
“The occasion was actually enjoyable!” stated participant and neighborhood ecologist Danielle Rutkowski, a doctoral candidate who research with Rachel Vannette, affiliate professor, UC Davis Division of Entomology and Nematology. “We have been capable of catch three totally different bumble bee species, the yellow-faced bumble bee (Bombus vosnesenskii), the black-tailed bumble bee (Bombus melanopygus) and some people of Bombus fervidus (generally generally known as the golden northern bumble bee).”
“We spent a while going over survey strategies and seize approach, after which caught some people and practiced taking images earlier than releasing them,” Rutkowski stated. “It was a extremely nice alternative to see the abundance and variety of bumble bees even in a single small space of campus, and I am actually excited to become involved in some surveys within the Sierra, the place variety will be a lot greater!”
Rutkowski accomplished her bachelor’s diploma at Cornell College, the place she studied how the connection between mycorrhizal fungi and their host crops impacts insect herbivores. She presently research “how bumble bees work together with the microbes, significantly fungi, of their atmosphere, and the way these relationships influence bee well being.”
Winkler stated the group netted a complete of 15-20 bumble bees, representing the three species. “We additionally noticed a number of extra. They have been totally on totally different salvia species, California poppies, and a local Solanum, the bluewitch nightshade. Surprisingly, there have been additionally a pair on lavender and ceanothus.”
Cindy McReynolds, an administrator and analysis scientist within the laboratory of UC Davis distinguished professor Bruce Hammock of the Division of Entomology and Nematology and Complete Most cancers Middle, and who directs analysis on the Hammock-founded EicOsis, participated along with her son, Elliot McReynolds, 13.
“We each are trying ahead to engaged on the Atlas challenge,” stated McReynolds, who holds a doctorate in pharmacology/toxicology. “He’s already hedging journeys to the coast and mountains to search for bees.”
Bumble Bee Alert. Again in September 2021, CDFW introduced that the American bumble bee, “whose populations have plummeted by practically 90 p.c, might warrant Endangered Species Act safety.” The announcement kicked off a one-year standing evaluation of the species. (See information story)
The California Bumble Bee Atlas is planning extra area days to coach citizen-scientists:
- Saturday, June 4: The Gardens at Lake Merritt, 666 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA (Alameda County). Tour of the gardens from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Sunday, June 5: Faculty of Marin at Kentfield (Marin County), parking at coated Heaps 6/7 off Faculty Ave, Kentfield, CA 94904. Particulars: Meet at bridge over Corte Madera Creek. Tour of the campus native crops from 10 a.m. to midday.
- Saturday, June 18: Soil Born Farms, Rancho Cordova, CA (Sacramento County), parking at Soil Born Farms: American River Ranch, 2140 Chase Drive, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670. As a part of Nationwide Pollinator Week, the group will tour the gardens from 10 a.m. to midday. Closed-toed footwear required.
To register or to acquire extra info, entry https://arcg.is/0PDyO4.