A Citizen Science Project Exploring Bee Biodiversity in Northern Colorado
Native Bee Watch Newsletter #17
Welcome to the Native Bee Watch Newsletter! This newsletter provides the current buzz on bee monitoring, tips for best practice observing, and other fun, educational resources. Enjoy! 
Happy Independence Day!  Have a safe, fun-filled holiday! 
Bee Monitoring Schedule  - Week of July 3rd

Wednesday, July 5th - Gardens at Spring Creek
  • Kathy K. 
  • Ann D.
  • Meg G.

Thursday, July 6th - Trial Gardens
  • Carole H.
  • Harry R.
  • Rebecca E.

Friday, July 7th - Nix Farm
  • Suzy D.
  • Nicole D.

Saturday, July 8th - Gardens at Spring Creek

  • Rosemary L. (Citizen Science Leader)
  • Sunny H. 

We have extra spaces left for a volunteer to sign up this week! Email Lisa if you are available at Lisa.Mason@colostate.edu

A striped sweat bee (top) at the Gardens on Spring Creek and Citizen Science Volunteer Nancy D. monitoring at Nix Farm (bottom). Photos: Lisa Mason
More Citizen Science Sessions Available! 

Need to sign up for monitoring sessions?  Click here to look at the calendar.

Please email Lisa with the dates you would like to monitor. 

If you monitored bees last summer, you can add additional monitoring sessions to the calendar. Just let Lisa know the day and the garden. 

Bee of the Week -  Lithurgopsis sp. (i.e. cactus-foraging bees)

Family - Megachilidae

Genus - Lithurgopsis sp. 

Cactus bees or Lithurgopsis sp. are specialists that only forage on cactus flowers. This is a symbiotic plant-pollinator relationship. Certain species of cacti close their anthers (the male reproductive part of the flower that produces the pollen) around the bee similar to fingers closing into a fist.  Lithurgopsis bees can push through the anthers to collect pollen. Most other bees cannot do this! All Lithurgopsis sp. will bore into wood for their nests and make their own holes rather than finding preexisting holes. They will typically nest in rotting stumps or branches but can be found in door frames. 

Photo: Lithurgopsis sp. in a cactus plant in Mesa, Arizona. Credit: Lisa Mason
Plant of the Week - Colorado desert blue star

Scientific name: Amsonia jonesii

The Colorado desert blue star is native to Western America and thrives in ordinary gardens and unwatered xeriscape. The flowers are star shaped and beautiful sapphire blue.They will bloom from April to early summer at maturity reaching a height of 10 to 14 inches. Experts from Plant Select® recommend to start with a larger size plant if possible since this plant grows slowly.  Click here for more information.

Source and photo: Plant Select®
What's the Buzz? Pollinators in the News

Do You Know Your Bees?   There are over 4,000 bees in North America.  Check out some neat photos of bees from The Weather Channel!

Report: Milkweed losses may not fully explain monarch butterfly declines. New research shows there may be other reasons for the decline. 
Photo: Micaela Truslove
A striped sweat bee at the Gardens on Spring Creek on June 13th. Photo: Lisa Mason
Native Bee Watch: A Citizen Science Project Exploring Bee Biodiversity in Northern Colorado

Website: nativebeewatch.wordpress.com     Contact: Lisa Mason at Lisa.Mason@ColoState.edu