Of the 20,000 bee species identified worldwide, some 4000 are found in the United States, and 1600 in California.
The book, the first of its kind, profiles some of the most common bee genera found in California gardens; their preferred plants, both native and non-native; and how to attract them.
In addition to the well-known honey bees and bumble bees, the authors spotlight such bees as mining, leafcutting, carpenter, sweat, digger, masked, longhorned, mason and polyester bees.
The honey bee, which provides pollination services valued at $217 billion globally and $20 million in the United States alone, is the most recognizable of the bees, but many are unaware of its non-native status. European colonists brought the honey bee to America in 1622.
California Bees and Bloom, published by the nonprofit Heyday Books in collaboration with the California Native Plant Society, is the work of urban entomologist Gordon Frankie. a professor and research entomologist at UC Berkeley; native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis; insect photographer and entomologist Rollin Coville, who holds a doctorate in entomology from UC Berkeley; and botanist/curator Barbara Ertter of UC Berkeley.
“This book is about urban California's bees: what they are, how and where they live, their relationships with ornamental flowers, and how to attract them to urban gardens,” they wrote. “It was written in the urgency of knowing that bees are critical to the health of our natural, ornamental and agricultural landscapes and that populations of some, perhaps many are in rapid decline.”
“While the book is specific to California, larger insights can be gathered about the role of native bees in developed landscapes (such as agriculture), and native bee conservation,” said Frankie, who researched bees in urban gardens in California for 13 years.
The book traces the first fossilized bee to Burma's Hukawng Valley, where it was lodged in amber approximately 100 million years ago.
The book destroys such myths as:
1. All bees make honey. Fact: Most native bees make no honey at all.
2. Bees die after they sting. Fact: Only the honey bees die; native solitary bees do not.
3. Male bees don't pollinator flowers. Fact: Male engage in pollination, but are not as efficient as most females.
4. Honey bees displace native bees on flowers. Fact: There is no evidence of that. In fact, “Recent research does indicate that interaction between honey bees and native bees results in an increase in the activity and efficiency of honey bees with regard to visiting (and pollinating) crops.”
California's bees differ in size, shape and color, as do the flowers they visit. “The tiniest bees are ant-sized; the largest rival small birds,” they wrote. “Some are iridescent green or blue, some are decked out with bright stripes, some are covered with fuzzy-looking hairs.”
Co-author Gordon Frankie's specialty is behavioral ecology of solitary bees in wildland, agricultural and urban environments of California and Costa Rica. He teaches conservation and environmental issues. He is involved in how people relate to bees and their plants and how to raise human awareness about bee-plant relationships.
Co-author Robbin Thorp, who retired in 1994 after 30 years of teaching, research and mentoring graduate students, continues to conduct research on pollination biology and ecology, systematics, biodiversity and conservation of bees, especially bumble bees. He is one of the instructors at the The Bee Course, affiliated with the American Museum of Natural History and held annually at the Southwestern Research Station, Portal, Ariz. The course is geared for conservation biologists, pollination ecologists and other biologists who seek greater knowledge of the systematics and biology of bees.
“The book is profusely illustrated with photos and drawings of bees and flowers, especially notable are the magnificent close up images of bees by co-author Rollin Coville,” Thorp said.
California Bees and Blooms lists 53 of urban California's best bee attractors identified through the Urban California Native Bee Survey. Among them: aster, bluebeard, catmint, California lilac or Ceanothus, cosmos, California sunflower, red buckwheat, California poppy, blanket flower, oregano, rosemary, lavender, gum plant, and salvia (sage). With each plant, they provide a description; origin and natural habitat, range and use in California; flowering season; resource for bees (such as pollen and nectar), most frequent bee visitors, bee ecology and behavior and gardening tips.
The book offers tips on how readers can “think like a bee.” It devotes one chapter to “Beyond Bee Gardening: Taking Action on Behalf of Native Bees.” In addition, the book provides quotes on bees and/or bee gardens from Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen (retired) of UC Davis: Ellen Zagory, horticulture director of the UC Davis Arboretum; and Kate Frey of Hopland, a designer of sustainable, insect-friendly gardens throughout California and in some parts of the world.
For more data on the book, the authors, and purchase information, access the publisher's website at https://heydaybooks.com/book/california-bees-and-blooms/
For ongoing research on California's bees and blooms, see the UC Berkeley website, www.helpabee.org.
Elaine A. Backus, Ph.D.
(Donald McLean was her major professor)
USDA Agricultural Research Service
"I remember Don for many things, but two really stand out in my mind. When I first arrived at UC Davis in late 1978, one of the first things Don told me was that I was only his second female grad student, and that the first one had failed miserably. He didn't express much hope that I would do better. I, however, took it as a challenge. Five years later, he told me that he had been wrong in his early judgment, and that my lab mate, Diane Ullman, and I had proven that to him by the high quality of our work. By 1984, Don had become so convinced of the value of women to our field that he made improving minority representation in entomology as the major theme of his year as president of ESA. I was grateful for his open-mindedness, willingness to change his mind, and determination to help our society enact that change.
"The second thing I will always remember about Don is his (and Marv Kinsey's) inspired idea to invent a technology now called electropenetrography (EPG). The spark of genius that started in their lab has literally founded a whole new science. EPG has become (what is roundly considered by hemipterologists and vector researchers worldwide as) THE go-to method for the study of piercing-sucking feeding by hemipterans and other insects. Virtually all of what is presently known about mechanisms of aphid transmission of plant viruses is due (at least in part) to EPG. For 30+ years, EPG has been the centerpiece of my own research program. Yet, the only electronics class I ever took was Don's 'Electronics in Agriculture' course! I am humbly grateful for the many years of joy and fascination their invention has brought to myself and many friends and colleagues around the world. Don McLean's career had a real impact on our field, more so than even he realized."
More than than 3,000 insect scientists have already registered, according to the ESA's communications program manager, Richard Levine. It is expected to be one of the largest entomology meetings in recent memory.
"The Northwest, with its natural beauty and location at the edge of the Pacific rim, is an ideal place to reflect on our Entomology 2014 theme: Grand Challenges Beyond Our Horizons," said Zalom, in an ESA news release "This year, ESA will be launching an effort to identify the most important challenges to which our discipline can make significant contributions."
More than 90 symposia are planned and will cover such topics as bed bugs, honey bees, monarch butterflies, ticks, native pollinators, pesticide regulations, biological control, integrated pest management, genetically-modified crops, invasive species, forestry, entomophagy, organic farming, insect-vectored diseases, and more. In addition, there will be 1,750 papers and posters, Levine reports.
- Beyond Pesticides: The Conundrum of Bed Bugs
- Insects as Sustainable and Innovative Sources of Food and Feed Production
- Recovering Monarch Butterfly Populations in North America: A Looming Challenge for Science, the Public, Industry, and Legislators
- Classical Biological Control of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål)
- Nutrition and the Health and Behavior of Wild and Managed Bees
- Contributions of Mosquito Research to Science & Society
- Entomological Comics and Their Importance in Education and Culture
- RNAi: Emerging Technology to Overcome Grand Challenges in Entomology
- IPM: An International Organic Farming Strategy on Invasive Insect Species
- New Frontiers in Honey Bee Health Economics: Incorporating Entomological Research and Knowledge into Economic Assessments
Among the scientists to be honored at the ESA meeting are three from UC Davis: Professor Diane Ullman and doctorate recipients Kelly Hamby (2014) and James F. Campbell (1999)
Ullman earlier was named the recipient of the outstanding teaching award from the Pacific Branch of ESA. Ullman chaired the UC Davis Department of Entomology in 2004-2005, and served as an associate dean for undergraduate academic programs, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. from 2005 to 2014. (See more information.)
Hamby received her doctorate in entomology at UC Davis in March 2014, studying with major professor Frank Zalom. She has just accepted a position with the Department of Entomology at the University of Maryland, College Park. Starting in November, she will be an assistant professor of sustainable agroecosystems and will be involved in integrated pest management research, extension, and teaching. (See more information)
James F. Campbell
Campbell is a research entomologist with the Center for Grain and Animal Health Research Service of the USDA's Agricultural Research Service, Manhattan, Kansas. (See more information)
ESA, founded in 1889, is the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines. Its members are affiliated with educational institutions, health agencies, private industry, and government. Members are researchers, teachers, extension service personnel, administrators, marketing representatives, research technicians, consultants, students, and hobbyists. For more information, visit http://www.entsoc.org.
(Editor's Note: Richard Levine, the ESA's communications program manager, contributed to this report.)
His seminar, open to all interested persons, is from 12:10 to 1 p.m. Host is Marshall McMunn, graduate student in the Louie Yang lab, Department of Entomology and Nematology.
"My research interests are at the interface of evolution, ecology and behavior," Cole says. "One of the major problems in evolutionary biology concerns the evolution of social groups. My research is in several areas involving the evolution of social behavior including the behavioral and genetic prerequisites for group living and the functional consequences of living in groups. The organisms that I use for studies of social behavior are the social insects, particularly the ants. Ants provide thousands of social species, many of which can be kept under controlled laboratory conditions, and manipulated to answer questions about social behavior."
An abstract of his talk:"Although many aspects of the biology of ants have received considerable study, one basic aspect of ant biology that we know very little about has to do with variation among individual colonies. These might be differences in behavior, differences in colony genetic structure, differences in demography. These differences among colonies are the source of fitness differences among colonies. In this seminar I shall examine the extent of fitness variation among colonies and begin to look at the sources of variation in fitness using data from our long-term study on the harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis."
Cole received his undergraduate degree from the University of Kansas and his doctorate from Princeton University. He did postdoctoral research at Harvard, University of Utah and UB Berkeley. Cole served on the faculty of the University of Virginia and the University of Arizona before joining the University of Houston 20 years ago. "I am interested in problems that combine ecology, evolution and behavior of ants," he said. "I strive to combine field and lab work with a bit of theory."
Cole and his colleague, Diane Wiernasz are studying the population biology of a desert harvester ant, Pogonomyrmex occidentalis. "We are combining a long-term ecological study of this population with detailed analysis of the ecology, genetics, and reproductive biology," he writes on his website. "Our long-term goal is to provide one of the most complete pictures of the population biology of an ant species."
"Our studies of harvester ants fall into several broad areas involved with measuring the components of fitness and quantifying selection in this natural population. For example the problem of reproductive allocation is influenced by the effects of body size on fitness, sex ratios and the relative values of growth and survival in colonies. In one current project we are studying how the genetic makeup of colonies generates a link between the timing of activity and foraging success, colony growth and ultimately colony fitness."
"We combine field experiments with longitudinal field studies, laboratory behavioral observations and genetic analyses to gain a complete picture of this species."
His seminar will be recorded for later viewing on UCTV.
The remaining seminars, all from 12:10 to 1 p.m. in !22 Briggs, include:
Wednesday, Oct. 29
Entomologist and vice president of professional services
SureHarvest, sustainable agriculture
Title: "Sustainable Agriculture: What Is Happening Out on the Farm?"
Host: Michael Parrella, professor and chair of the Department of Entomology and Nematology
Wednesday, Nov. 5
Professor, University of Kentucky, specializing in ecology and evolution of life histories; insect-plant interactions; insect behavioral ecology
Title: "Inbreeding-Environment Interactions: Experimental Studies and a Meta Analysis"
Host: Jay Rosenheim, professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Wednesday, Nov. 12
Assistant professor, UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, specializing in ecology
Title: "Pulses, Phenology and Ontogeny: Towards a More Temporally Explicit Framework for Understanding Species Interactions?"
Wednesday, Nov. 19
Associate professor of biology, California State University, Northridge, specializing in nematology
Title: “A Fatal Attraction: Regulation of Development and Behavior in the Nematode Pristionchus pacificus by a Beetle Pheromone”
Host: Valerie Williamson, professor of nematology, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Wednesday, Nov. 26
Doris Bachtrog, lab
Associate professor of integrative biology, UC Berkeley, specializing in evolutionary and functional genomics
Title: "Numerous Transitions of Sex Chromosomes in Diptera"
Host: James Carey, distinguished professor, Department of Entomology and Nematology
Internationally recognized entomologist and well-known philanthropist Evert Irving Schlinger of Concord, professor emeritus, UC Berkeley Department of Entomological Sciences, passed Wednesday, Oct. 8 in Lafayette, Calif. He was 86.
Dr. Schlinger, who received his undergraduate degree from UC Davis and then his doctorate in entomology in 1957 from the University of California, Berkeley, was a world authority on a very rare, world-distributed group of spider-parasitoid flies of the family Acroceridae. His dissertation, available in the UC Davis Shields Library, was on "A Generic Revision and Catalogue of the Acroceridae (Diptera)."
He collected specimens on 37 insect-spider expeditions in 40 countries. His World Spider-Endoparasitoid Lab, located in Santa Ynez, Calif., was most recently associated with the UC Santa Barbara Department of Biology.
Dr. Schlinger chaired the departments of entomology at UC Riverside and UC Berkeley and initiated a new department at Berkeley called Conservation and Resources Studies."
The philanthropist funded professorships at universities across the U.S. with millions of dollars from his family foundation.
At UC Davis, he and his wife, Marion (now former wife), established the Evert and Marion Schlinger Endowed Chair in Insect Systematics in 1996 through gifts from the Schlinger Foundation. It was their aim that the endowed chair would attract and sustain scholars and scientists working in the area of the systematics of insects, as well as arachnids.
Born April 17, 1928 in Los Angeles, Evert or "Ev" as he was known, chose UC Davis as his undergraduate school, where he quarterbacked the football team and ran track. He was a life and charter member of the Cal Aggie Alumni Association.
Dr. Schlinger received a UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences' Award of Distinction in 1999. A nominee wrote: "He has been an inspiring teacher, mentor and leader in entomology. Through his research foundation, he provides resources to enliven and enrich the prospects of systematics and biodiversity well into the future."
Michael E. Irwin, professional scientist emeritus from at the Illinois Natural History Survey. emailed members of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology:
"Evert I. Schlinger passed away during the lunar eclipse in the early morning of Wednesday, October 8, 2014. He was a giant of a man in both stature and accomplishment. He fought for advancing science and improving the environment all of his life. He had a laser-like ability to dissect problems and find solutions. He was gentle, caring, yet held strong convictions. His work in the systematics of the small-headed fly family Acroceridae was deep and provided the foundation for future workers; his work in biological control was less known but profoundly influenced the course and development of integrated pest management. Perhaps his greatest gift to science was a cadre of students that have made impacts in many areas of entomology and education. For me, he will always be remembered as my best friend and a great mentor."
Dr. Schlinger is survived by his four children, Pete Schlinger; Mathew (Joanne) Schlinger of Redding; Jane (Brad) Omick of Lafayette, Calif.; Brian (Danelle) Schlinger of Palo Cedro, Caiif; 11 grandchildren; and brother Warren (Katie) of Pasadena, Calif.
His daughter, Jane, said her father "started his career collecting black widows at schools at the age of 9." She recalled that in addition to his love of family and science, he "loved to sing and had a love for opera--he attended the San Francisco Opera performances a lot."
Flipagram, online memory album created by daughter, Jane Omick of Layfayette