All the above photos are courtesy of the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab and are licensed under CC BY 2.0 Click on each photo to see a full size photo, the complete citation, and the name of the bee. All of these can be found in Texas. Start looking for 'em.
Are you ready to learn
Recent Site Entries/Changes
4/3/15: Added quite a few articles to the Bee Watchers March/April Flipboard magazine (see bottom of this page). The Flipboard app on the Mac really makes this look nice. I still need to learn to edit the titles, but it makes it very convenient to add current info to the site. I'd appreciate it if you would click the "follow" button for the magazine.
You may see a message in the footer below that says the Magazine is "too busy." Not sure what that is all about, just reload page till it clears up and shows the magazine. Sorry.
Featured Book from the Bee Book Club
I am really happy to feature California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists on the Texas Bee Watchers website.
This beautiful book is based on research done by the Urban Bee Lab at the University of California, Berkeley. Since 1999, when Professors Gordon Frankie and Jerry Powell discovered that "wild" bees were visiting urban gardens in Berkeley (Who'd have thought?), Dr. Frankie and a host of other professors and students have surveyed flowering plants in urban gardens and identified native bees toughing it out on the urban streets of California. Based on their surveys, they have determined predictable bee/flower relationships in urban yards and fields.
And why is that a big deal? It means that if you are a city gardener with a few pots on a patio or condo deck, if you have a small backyard garden, if you have a half-acre city lot, if you manage a city park, if you can plant a dead zone between your sidewalk and the street, or if you own a store with a bit of room for a few potted plants around your entrance, Dr. Frankie and California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists can tell you what plants will bring those bees in for a sip of nectar or a leg full of pollen.
Bee gardens are noisy places full of life. You want one in your life.
You want to help the bees, too. Who doesn't appreciate a nice beautiful flower to look at? A juicy peach that got to your grocery store because a bee pollinated a peach flower? Or healthy lettuce from your garden because a lettuce plant produced a seed when it was pollinated by a bee and you bought and planted that seed and grew your own lettuce? Woo-hoo!!
In addition to Dr. Frankie's research, California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists shows off the Rock Star status of Dr. Rollin Coville, Rock Star bee photographer. His photos of bees, gardens, and plants are really beautiful and will help you identify the bees you see in urban gardens. Dr. Robbin Thorp is The Bumblebee Man. An entomology Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Davis, he continues his research on native bees at the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven Garden on the UCD campus. Makes you want to go drizzle a bit o'honey on your Chocolate Mint ice cream tonight, doesn't it? Barbara Ertter is the Curator of Western North American Botany at UC Berkeley and the Jepson Herbaria. And for the Texans out there wondering why I recommend a book by all these Berkeley folks, know that Barbara Ertter spent several years as Curator of the University of Texas Herbarium. She knows her plants.
Those are some pretty big hitters. I am also beyond proud and grateful that the authors included a very nice mention of the Texas Bee Watchers and this website in the book (see page 246, she says shamelessly). Thank you very much.
It's a great book. Go buy it. If you click on any of the book links above, they will take you directly to Amazon for your purchase.