A Citizen Science Project Exploring Bee Biodiversity in Northern Colorado
Native Bee Watch Newsletter #28
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! 
Monitor Native Bees This Summer!

Join us for a third season of monitoring bees in Fort Collins this summer! Never been a Citizen Scientist? Don't know anything about bees? We will teach you everything you need to know!

Bee monitoring sessions will occur from 9-11 am. Garden locations include: Nix Farm Natural Area, the Gardens on Spring Creek, and the CSU Trial Gardens. Weekend and weekday monitoring sessions are available this year! Scheduling for bee monitoring sessions will happen at the training. We hope you can monitor four times over the summer.

To participate, you must attend the required training on Monday, May 21st, from 6-9 pm at the Lory Student Center at Colorado State University, Room 322! RSVP here!

Please email Lisa with any questions at Lisa.Mason@colostate.edu .

We look forward to seeing you on Monday!
Bee of the Week - Sphecodes spp. (Cuckoo Bees)

Family - Halictidae

Scientific Name - Sphecodes spp.

Sphecodes bees are very small bees and are usually between .15 and .6 inches long. They have a shiny black thorax and a blood-red abdomen. They also appear “wasp-like”, so identification needs to be done carefully. Throughout the world there have been 325 documented species, 75 of these occur in the United States, and 17 occur in Colorado. Sphecodes bees are cuckoo bees and will parasitize bees in the Halictidae bee family! These bees are known to steal pollen loaves from other bees’ nests. The female bees are parasitic and will either kill the eggs of the host and leave her own or reside in the host nest with the hosts. They have also been found to take over the role of queen bee in other species and continuously lay their own eggs. When looking for Sphecodes bees, you are not likely to find them on flowers because the steal all the pollen and nectar they need from other bees. You are likely to see them scouting around bare soil looking for other bee nests.

Sources: Bees in Your Backyard, Bees of Colorado
Photo: Betsy Betros, BugGuide.net
Plant of the Week - Turquoise Tails blue sedum

Scientific Name - Sedum sediforme

The Turquoise Tails blue sedum is a perennial plant that grows 4-6” tall and 8-12” wide. This plant grows best in dry-to-xeric environments and does well in rock gardens or with other cacti or succulents. You can also grow it on a green roof to attract pollinators and birds. The flowers bloom between June and July. They are a creamy yellow color and they shoot out above the blue succulent mounds. This plant is also deer-resistant, and if foliage breaks you can stick it directly in the ground to regrow in a new area. It grows well throughout Colorado and needs little-to-no care once it’s established. It’s also evergreen throughout the winter.  For more information, click here.

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

Don't Mow Your Lawn and Help Save the Bees. New research finds that only mowing your lawn every two weeks, instead of every week, increases bee populations by 30 percent.

Cuckoo bee species 'hiding in plain sight'. Scientists have discovered 15 new species of cuckoo bees hidden in North American museum collections and in an ancient thesis.
Photo: Micaela Truslove
A green metallic sweat bee, Agapostemon sp. Photo: Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org
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