Posts Tagged: native bees
Species that move into new areas are known as adventive, but the word has several shades of meaning. Some scientists include deliberately introduced species, but others include only those that arrived on their own or by accident.
Some writers use adventive to describe species that are not self-sustaining, but need an occasional population boost from their homeland. If an adventive species becomes self-sustaining in its new geographic area, it is then said to be naturalized. Other words with variable meanings such as acclimatized, immigrant, and invasive make the subject even more confusing. One of the impacts of climate change is the movement of organisms, following favorable environments, and naturalizing in a new location that has the environment it needs to thrive.
Rusty Burlew of HoneyBeeSuite raises this issue of what to call organisms that arrive in a new home like California and how to classify them – “Are Stingless bees moving north?”.
While humans were busy squabbling over the border between the United States and Mexico, a tiny black immigrant bee was discreetly homesteading in California. A new sighting of a Central American native bee, a member of the genus Plebeia, was recently reported in a genteel area of Palo Alto, some 500 miles to the north of Mexico.
Apparently, the manager of the Elizabeth Gamble Garden, an iconic public park, contacted a company for help in removing a bee nest from the premises. On seeing the nest, however, the exterminator sent a specimen to an entomologist who recognized the bee as Plebeia. Plebeia is one of many genera belonging to the tribe Meliponini, commonly known as the stingless honey bees.
Until this sighting, only one stingless bee colony was known to exist north of the Mexican border, a nest that was first discovered in a Palo Alto backyard in 2013 and was being monitored by the State of California. Plebeia is a small genus of heat-loving bees native to southern Mexico and Central America that ranges as far south as Argentina. Since the first sighting in California, at least three other photos of Plebeia have shown up on the citizen science site iNaturalist.org, all within a short distance of the original nest. These recent sightings are most likely descendants of the 2013 colony.
No one knows where they crossed the border or how they got so far north. Someone could have smuggled them in, or perhaps they hitched a ride in a shipment of goods. It is also possible, though highly unlikely, they traveled on their own over the course of many years. In any case, higher than average annual temperatures no doubt played a role in their survival.
Photo: Plebeia, stingless honeybee. selwynq, https://www.inaturalist.org/photos/33865085
The highly respected California Academy of Sciences greeted its 2019 Class of Fellows on Oct. 15,...
Neal Williams, newly elected Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, is "widely known and respected for his excellence in research, extension, outreach, teaching and leadership," wrote nominator James R. Carey. Here Williams works on a bumble bee project. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
It's a fair. It's a party. It's a pollinator party. It's the Bay Area Bee Fair in Berkeley. And...
Black-tailed bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, nectaring on nectarine blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, nectaring on Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A black-tailed bee, Bombus californicus, nectaring on blanket flower, Gaillardia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, and honey bee, Apis mellifera, sharing a purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Yes, he began his career studying honey bees. The late Robbin Thorp, the renowned UC Davis...
A honey bee packing pollen and nectaring on an almond blossom at UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
In his retirement, Robbin Thorp co-authored two books, "Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide" and "California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists." (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Robbin Thorp (left), legendary authority on bees, shows UC Davis alumnus Alex Wild the "Miss Bee Haven" sculpture in the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology's bee garden on Bee Biology Road. Wild, who received his doctorate in entomology at UC Davis, is the curator of entomology at the University of Texas, Austin. This image was taken in 2008. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A life well-lived. Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at the University...
The UC Davis Department of Entomology, Feb. 3, 1970. In front (from left) are Dick Bushing, Frank Summers, Bob Schuster, Al Grigarick, Bob Washino, Harry Lange and Harry Laidlaw. In back (from left) are Charles Judson. Robbin Thorp, Vern Burton, Elmer Carlson, Oscar Bacon, Frank Strong, Don McLean, Ward Stanger and Ed Loomis. Among faculty not pictured: Stanley F. Bailey, R. M. Bohart, Warren R. Cothran, Norman Gary, G. A. H. McClelland, Howard McKenzie and Gene Stafford.
Robbin Thorp was a global authority on bees and worked to protect the critically imperiled Franklin's bumble bee (on his screen). This image was taken in October, 2007. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
This was Robbin Thorp's favorite photo. He's standing by an almond tree on Bee Biology Road, UC Davis campus. This image was taken in February 2010. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Robbin Thorp with two books he co-authored in 2014. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honoree Robbin Thorp reads a birthday card at a celebration in 2018 at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. At right is Tabatha Yang, Bohart Museum education and outreach coordinator. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)