May 21-27, 2018

1. THIS WEEK IN PICTURES

 Rich Little was out with the Benton County group this weekend and managed to catch all these bees in one net stroke - a true Jedi. 

Rich Little was out with the Benton County group this weekend and managed to catch all these bees in one net stroke - a true Jedi. 

 Lori Humphreys in Eugene found this remarkable fly that appeared to be a mimic of cuckoo bees from the genus Nomada.   

Lori Humphreys in Eugene found this remarkable fly that appeared to be a mimic of cuckoo bees from the genus Nomada.   

 Maxine Centala, a member of the central Coast Atlas team found this lovely bumble bee on her chives in Seal Rock. Stephaine Hazen tentatively identified the bee as Bombus fervidus. 

Maxine Centala, a member of the central Coast Atlas team found this lovely bumble bee on her chives in Seal Rock. Stephaine Hazen tentatively identified the bee as Bombus fervidus. 

2. LOCATION LABEL UPDATE

Thank you for all of you who have submitted images of your notebooks or have uploaded your records through iNaturalist. We began work drawing all your records into a central database last week. Over the next two weeks, your team leaders will be getting a sheet of labels for each of you to start attaching location labels to your specimens. The labels will look like the one below:

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Here you can see labels for three specimens for Lori Humphrey (LOH), corresponding to three collection events (LOH-11, LOH-12 and LOH-13). She only had one specimen for each collection event. On the label we stripped off her Collector ID and replaced it with her name, we added the number '18' to signify '2018' and then added the Sample ID (e.g., 11, 12 or 13). The last number in the string is the specimen within that sample event. So if Lori had caught three bees during sample event LOH-13, she would get three tags, all identical, except the number would be 18.013.001, 18.013.002 and 18.013.003.    

3. PNW BUMBLE BEE ATLAS

As you know, we are collaborating with the Xerces Society on their PNW Bumble Bee Atlas initiative. We encourage each team to adopt a grid or two. The survey procedure is not a lot of work (you need to follow a standard protocol and commit to visiting the grid twice during the year) and can act as a fabulous field trip for your group this summer. The whole procedure is outlined (far better than it is below) in the Xerces training manual.

Step 1. Before you get started you need to go online and sign up for an account on Bumble Bee Watch. At the bottom of the registration page select 'PNW Bumble Bee Atlas'. 

Step 2. Consult with your team and adopt a grid cell. You do this by visiting the following page and registering. This does not need to be a team effort, you can do it on your own, but it might be funner to do it as a team. Grids that are not yet taken that are quite close or directly coincidental (*) to where you are already sampling:

Columbia Gorge Team - WA327, WA328, OR60*
Yamhill County - OR4*, OR78
Benton and North Willamette - OR122, OR155
Central Coast - OR41
Grants Pass - OR16
Klamath Falls - OR40, OR134, OR166
Bend - OR157, OR 71, OR96

Step 3. There are two procedures for doing the survey, either a point survey where you wander around a 2.5 ac plot for 45 min (or 22.5 min if there is two of you) and collect all the bees you can (along with host plant information) or a roadside survey consisting of 5 x 15 min surveys along a 10 mile stretch of road. Data sheets and exact protocols are available in the training manual. Also, while the protocol calls for cooling bees down and releasing them, it is also okay to take specimens and then upload an picture of your specimen (with the caveat of not over-collecting queens early in the spring). To avoid duplication of records, we ask you to add your specimen number (e.g., Humphrey, Lori:18.013.001 from previous section) to the Observation Notes on BumbleBeeWatch          

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There should be training videos up on the PNW Bumble Bee Atlas shortly. You can also join us at the Oregon Zoo on June 16 to help Xerces do a public Bioblitz at the Hoyt Arboretum in Portland. Lets go out and get some bumble bee records. 

4. SURVEY DATES (THIS WEEK)

Yamhill Collection Team
Monday May 22 meet at 10am - 1:00pm
- Gopher Valley site
- Contact Michael: molfamily@earthlink.net 

Bend Collection Team
Thursday May 31
- Redmond, Eagle Crest
- Contact Toni toni.stephan@oregonstate.edu.

Klamath Falls Collection Team
Friday June 1 1-4pm
- Contact nicole.sanchez@oregonstate.edu

To include your event in the weekly round-up, please email it to Andony by Saturday.

5. A MISTAKE ON TRAP NEST SHEET (ITS A TRAP)

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There was a copy and paste error on the block instructions I sent (I had copied some text from the Minnesota Bee Atlas's bee block instructions). You don't, in fact, need to revisit the blocks until the end of the season. Here are the corrected instructions (also corrected in the training section of the website).

6. YOUR QUESTIONS:

Q: I need ethyl acetate. I watched a video that showed some nail polish removers from the drug store have ethyl acetate. Can I use this?

A: We had not anticipated the interest in using ethyl acetate.  After a recent swing through a number of pharmacies it was clear that ethyl acetate is not that common. Acetone, which is still widely available, is not very effective at killing specimens. If you need ethyl acetate, please let your team leader know. 

Q: I don't have a t-shirt yet, my t-shirt shrunk, I can't remember the size I ordered, etc?

A: We have gotten most of the t-shirts out. I think there are a few teams, like Eugene, who have not. If you need a t-shirt, or if the one you got doesn't fit, or if you wanted a yellow shirt, but got a blue one please let your team leader know. Team leaders, add these items onto your order for supplies. Please indicate the size (Small-3XL), the type (men's or women's) and color (blue or yellow).