DATABASE TRAFFIC CONTROL - STAY OFF ON MONDAYS
We recognize how disruptive it is for you when Atlas staff sort the database to prepare for the next printing. For this reason, we are going to restrict our sorting to Mondays. If you can restrict your database work to other days of the week, that will help reduce frustration and increase enjoyment. Also, just a reminder, please do not sort, filter or highlight your data while working. Mark Gorman from Portland has made us aware that we need to develop an SQL database that would essentially allow each person to have their own spreadsheet. That will take some time. In the meantime, stay off the database on Mondays and don’t do anything apart from correct data in rows or add new rows.
1. GROUP EVENTS
If you are planning a trip and want others to join you, email Andony by Friday morning and he will include it the blog. Include meeting locations, times and a contact email to facilitate coordination.
Matteson Demonstration Forest (Gaston, OR). Wednesday, July 3rd, 1:30-4:30 pm. We will be netting at three sites within the forest. Meet at the forest gate at 1 pm, or carpool from the Golden Valley Brewery parking lot on NW Bethany/Hwy 26 in Beaverton, leaving at 12:45 pm. RSVP to Amy Grotta, email@example.com. Cell phone: 503-407-8944. Directions to Matteson Forest: from Forest Grove, take Hwy 47 south about 5 miles (or, from Gaston, Hwy 47 north about 3 miles) to the turnoff for Hagg Lake/Scoggins Valley Rd. Follow Scoggins Valley Rd. to the lake. Bypass the park entrance booth and turn left on West Shore Rd to go OVER the dam. After crossing the dam, go another 2 miles on West Shore Rd and turn left on SW Hankins Rd. Follow to the end where there is an orange gate which will be opened for you to park inside.
2. SUMMER SURVEY TARGET: SQUASH BEES (PEPONAPIS PRUINOSA)
Last season one of the Bee School participants (Sarah Red-Laird) found the first record of the squash bee in in Southern Oregon. We would really like to get more specimens. Squash bees are specialists on… squashes. One of the easiest ways to monitor for squash bees is to tear open the wilted flowers in the afternoon or early evening: males and unmated females will sleep in the flowers. For more info squash bees visit: https://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/pollinator-of-the-month/squash_bees.shtml
3. YOUR QUESTIONS
Q: I am having problems with labels and the database OR I have not got my labels. Who do I contact?
A: Send a note to Cody using the following email address - Oregon Bee Atlas Database <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Q: I hate iNaturalist. I write my records on paper. How do I get them into iNaturalist?
A: You don’t need to use iNaturalist at all. Just email pictures of your paper records to Oregon Bee Atlas Database <email@example.com>. Don’t know how to do that? Just mail us a copy: Oregon Bee Atlas, c/o Andony Melathopoulos, Department of Horticulture | Oregon State University, 4017 Agricultural and Life Science Building | Corvallis, OR 97331-7304.
Q: I am an iNaturalist user and I noticed that information I put in the field ‘Collection Site Description’ isn’t showing up. Is it lost? Will it be retrieved? Will it make its way onto the spreadsheet?
A: Those records are not lost and we are on the cusp of getting the field to show up on the Google sheets. Check next week.
Q: I was wondering if the Atlas has signage designating study areas. I am asking because my honey bee hives were always visible from the road. People would stop while I was making inspections and ask questions. It was a great educational/outreach opportunity. The whole interaction fostered the feeling that my bees were the neighborhood bees, and I like to think it changed people's perceptions of the stinging insects they observed in their yards. The hives were an ever-present reminder of pollinators that people could relate to. I would like to transfer that awareness and concern to the native bees in my valley. If the Bee Project doesn't already have signage, would it be permissible for me to make some?
A: Portland volunteer Jocelyn McAuley came up with a similar idea. She wanted a 8 x 24 in weather proof sign that could be printed made at FedEx/Kinkos to prop up shes was collecting. These are now available under Volunteer Resources and can be accessed here as well - three versions: Adobe Illustrator File | Adobe PDF | PNG File
Q: For some reason, we cannot locate the video on gluing specimens to pins. Where should we look?
A: Its on the youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4-fDUsqKRDxinSPSU4HpXw?view_as=subscriber
Q: When do I check the entries under my name as verified in regards to the Associated plant? What if I don’t know the plant or only one person made a suggestion (not research grade) in iNaturalist? What if I know that the plant is a type of mustard but not sure which one? Do you only want Latin names in that column whether it is the genus or species?
A: Great question. Verify when the date, location and number of bees is correct (all the information that needs to go on the label). For all iNaturalist records we anticipate the identification to get better after botanists look at the plant ids and we will go back and correct the plant ids in the database. And yes, please use Latin names in both fields.
Q: When is it appropriate to connect an observation to OBA Project “Anecdotal” ? Do I use it if I want to know the name of a plant but do not collect any bees from it?
A: The Anecdotal Project is meant to be Bee Atlas lite. We have virtually forgot about it. Its meant to just take pictures of bees.
Q: Do I email Cody if I notice that a collection event is not entered in the database even though it is in iNaturalist and later events had been entered already? Or, do I enter it myself?
A: This is a fantastic question and a few people brought it up. Cody typically only downloads records from iNaturalists that have generated since the last printing. This means if you upload an old record, we wouldn’t have it. Cody will periodically do a “deep download” spanning back to the beginning of the year to try and catch these events. But, if you don’t see records uploaded, let Cody know the dates and he will look for them.
Q: I noticed that often the location column has the same information than the Abbreviated Location column, like “Clarno” or “Madras”. If I have more detailed information like an address or “Clarno, East of, highway 218 milepost 34”, do you want us to enter (correct) that information in the location column?
A: First, don’t change the abbreviated column unless it is clearly wrong. You can add more detailed information in the ‘Location’ column, but that is not absolutely necessary if you find yourself in and around a town or if you find yourself catching some rather unremarkable bees. If you catch something very cool in a remote location we would certainly recommend you go the extra mile providing a more complete description under location.
Q: When are the Microscope Saturday sessions in Corvallis? Will there be microscope sessions elsewhere?
A: Corvallis is every 4th Saturday of the month in the OSU Entomology Lab (Cordley 3058). Doors open at 10am and close at 3pm through the summer. Staff from the Atlas will be on hand to help out. The upcoming dates are July 27, August 24, September 28 and October 26. Portland Community College will be offering a similar activity starting in the fall.