A Citizen Science Project Exploring Bee Biodiversity in Northern Colorado
Native Bee Watch Newsletter #19
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! 
Quiz Answers: What Kind of Bees? 
The hairy leg bee group has a a lot of variation in colors, size, antennae, and hairiness between hairy leg bees. Note the thick, pollen collecting hairs on the hind legs of both bees. 

Thank you for sending photos! Keep them coming! 
This bee belongs in the hairy leg bee group!  It belongs to the genus Diadasia
Photo: Kathy Keck and Lori Nixon
This bee also belongs in the hairy leg bee group! The bee belongs to the genus Melissodes. It is most likely Melissodes bimaculatus.  Photo: Kandice Dixon and Cassie Mattson
****Citizen Scientists Needed August and September!****

There are MANY open spots in August and September. Please look at your calendar and sign up!   


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 Monitoring Schedule  - Week of July 31st

Two open slots available for volunteers this week! See below.

Thursday, August 3rd - Gardens at Spring Creek
  • Greta D.
  • Kathy K. 
  • Meg G.
  • Rebecca E.

Friday, August 4th - Nix Farm
  • Lori N.
  • Kathy K.
  • OPEN SPOT FOR VOLUNTEER
  • OPEN SPOT FOR VOLUNTEER

Saturday, August 5th - Trial Gardens
  • Sara W.
  • Jianjing Y. 
  • Kevin B. 
  • Susan 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

Volunteers (top) at the Gardens on Spring Creek and a bee in the hairy leg bee group (bottom) also at the Gardens on Spring Creek. Photos: Lisa Mason
Volunteer Spotlight: Meet Kathy! 

Kathy is a new volunteer this summer and she has already monitored 6 times! If you have monitored with Kathy, you know there will be great conversation and laughs. Here is a little more about Kathy: 

What is your background?

I was in the hospitality industry in the mountains for 30 years. We moved to Fort Collins a couple years ago.

Why do you enjoy volunteering?

It's so great to be able meet so many people with similar interests and follow my passion for learning all about the natural world. So many thanks to CSU, Fort Collins Natural Areas and all the entities that provide all the opportunities to those of us who lack the formal training in these areas but are willing to let us get involved.

What is your favorite bee?

Bumbles are the cutest but honey bees have some great lessons to teach us.


What is the coolest thing you have seen so far this summer? 

Lisa and her team's enthusiasm and willingness to share their knowledge!  And of course all of the bees and how they all coexist...what amazing, beautiful creatures.

Bee of the Week -  Calliopsis Bees

Family - Andrenidae

Genus - Calliopsis sp.   

Calliopsis sp. are part of the Andrenidae family of bees called mining bees. They are called mining bees because they nest underground. Their underground nests are waterproof from a substance that is secreted by the female bee. Calliopsis bees use the same substance to waterproof the bee bread (the pollen and nectar ball for the growing larva). 

Calliopsis sp. can be found buzzing around in the summer and fall in dry areas of North and South America. The majority of species are found in Mexico. There are 11 species that have been documented in Colorado. 

They are not generalists bees, meaning they only pollinate specific plant species. Some species of Calliopsis only forage on one specific genus of flowering plants. Others will forage on on a few genera of flowering plants. 

Calliopsis sp. have a unique adaptation called bet-hedging that allows them to survive in drought areas. If the area has experienced very little moisture, there may not be enough foraging resources for the bees. Some of the bees will actually wait another year or more to emerge, when drought conditions have subsided and there is more of a guarantee for floral resources. 

They have vibrant yellow bands going across their abdomen, but they are hard to identify based on observation only. You would need a microscope to get an accurate identification. 

Plant of the Week - Winecups

Scientific name: Callirhoe involucrata

Winecups are a native Colorado plant seen throughout Fort Collins. They flourish in xeriscape gardens and are indigenous to a variety of landscapes including dry meadows, along rocky banks of water, and prairies. This ground cover plant enjoys the full-sun and is drought tolerant. It will bloom wine-colored red flowers from late spring to early summer. The experts at Plant Select® recommend using less water and pinching back to help the plant stay more compact and not spread out as much. They’re able to self-seed quickly so removing any seedlings while they’re young will help keep the plant contained. Click here for more information.

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

Monarch butterfly, Western honeybee star on new stamps highlighting pollinator protection. When you buy stamps, pick the Protect Pollinators collection! 

NPR: No Offense, American Bees, But Your Sperm Isn't Cutting It. Researchers at Washington State University hope a deeper gene pool will give a new generation of honeybees much-needed genetic traits. 
Photo: Micaela Truslove
A striped sweat bee on Lindheimer's beeblossom at the Gardens on Spring Creek in late July, 2017. 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