Click on the file below to find out more information about Pollinator Day on June 23rd, 2012. Come learn about bees, birds, butterflies and bats! Purchase local honey from beekeeper and volunteer, Joan Kramer, and buy pollinator-friendly native plants from the Sea Oats Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society. The movie "Pollinators in Peril" will be playing in the auditorium at 11am, noon, and 1pm.
Hope to see you all there!
I just got my copy of "Wildflowers of Florida and the Southeast" and it is super great! Written by David Hall and William Weber this book is very comprehensive and is organized by flower color. I appreciate this because when I am out in the field and stumble upon a new flower with lots of bees I need a good reference to be able to learn what it is. Some books are organized by habitat type, and while this is helpful, it isn't always easy to find what you are looking for when some flowers are found in more than one habitat. This book is sure to help me and others learn more about Florida's wildflowers.
Buy it here:http://www.amazon.com/Wildflowers-Florida-Southeast-David-Hall/dp/0615395023
Also, a Pollinator Day is in the works for June 23rd at the GTM Research Reserve, stay tuned for more details!!!
Tomorrow marks the beginning of the GTM Research Reserve native bee survey for 2012. We will be surveying the Guana River Wildlife Management Area and the scrub habitat west of A1A in the northern part of the reserve. In the south we will survey Moses Creek Conservation Area and Princess Place Preserve.
I'm excited to get back out into the field again and excited to catch those bees! With the mild winter many plants have begun to flower already, including hog plum, red bud, and yellow thistle. Keep your eyes open in your gardens for the busy bees!
I surveyed an organic blueberry farm last week and had at least 7 species of native bees visiting the blueberry blossoms. Check the pic below to see a southeastern blueberry bee (Habropoda laboriosa) female in action!
I just stumbled upon a cool website: http://www.tobee.ca/
This has lot's of great information on nesting bees and general native bee information. Take a look at all the different styles of nesting blocks they have created. Very cool! Maybe next year we will have to take on a cavity nesting study...
The bees should be coming out soon, especially with this warm weather we've been having, I can't wait!
The new site is up and running folks! I will continue to add content so please check back frequently. I'm working hard to put up relevant information that can be used by a variety of audiences. Hope that everyone is enjoying it so far!
Also, I'm getting geared up for this year's survey! It looks like the sites for 2012 will be the scrub habitat of GTMNERR west of A1A, the Guana River Wildlife Management Area, Moses Creek Conservation Area, and Princess Place Preserve in Flagler County. I'm starting to scout the sites now and am keeping an eye out on early flowering plants in the area to make sure I catch the beginning of the season.
In February I will go the UF to attend a Pollinator Conservation Planning workshop put on by the Xerces Society, should be great!
November has been an interesting month thus far. We've had some really chilly weather and even a few days in the 80's. I managed to squeeze one more survey in during the second week and was still surprised by the number of bees out there. Washington Oaks Gardens S.P. has very few bees, very little is flowering anymore, at least very little that bees like. Matanzas state forest still got a nice amount of bees in the pan traps, but I didn't collect any with nets. The beach and peninsula on the northern end were still fairly productive, but the native plant garden proved to be one of the better areas to survey. It still has Gaillardia pulchella, Helianthus debilis, and Solidago sempervirens flowering nicely.
I'm off to identify my specimens and will keep you posted on my results!
The bee survey is coming to and end pretty soon. We had good surveys last week and the weather cooperated nicely. We will try to have one more survey in November if we get some nice warm and sunny days. Some new plants are in flower right now like the groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia) and some new bees were out visiting them. Not sure what they are yet, but I'm thinking maybe they are Colletes sp. There are still lot's of carpenter bees, bumble bees, sweat bees, and leaf-cutter bees out there on the really nice days. On the beach the blanketflower (Gaillardia pulchella) and dune sunflower (Helianthus debilis) are still flowering nicely.
I'll keep you posted if we get one more survey in this year!
Last night I was invited to give a talk to my local native plant society chapter, Sea Oats. While the turnout was small (their normal monthly meeting time got changed for this month) the people that did come out seemed really into the talk. I had lot's of great questions and comments, which always helps me with future talks. I was also given a membership to the plant society, which is really exciting. I look forward to working with many of them in the future and attending more meetings and seeing other great talks.
Welcome to my blog! Here I'll update everyone on the native bee survey at the GTMNERR.