Native Bee Surveys
Contributing to Science
During each year, beginning with 2015, we conduct seasonal surveys (spring, summer and fall) of the native bees that live and visit The Bee Farm and Alemany Farm. The goal of this project is to understand the different native bee species that could be found in San Francisco's urban agriculture, community and residential garden environments, their flower preference and nesting needs, and to share that information with the public so they can "help our bees" through planned plantings and creation of bee nesting habitat. We plan to eventually share this information on our website.
The principal investigator of our Native Bee Surveys is Jaime Pawelek, formerly of the UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab. She supervises volunteers in the bee collection process and later does the pinning and labelling of bees collected, and she examines each bee collected (under a microscope) to confirm its species and gender.
When volunteers participate in the bee collection process, Jaime gives an introductory talk about common California native bees, their flower preferences and nesting needs, as well as our survey methods so volunteers get to learn about native bees and bee survey methods. At the end of the collection process, she shares with volunteers information on the native bees they collected that day.
During 2015, we identified a total of 33 different native bees. The Bee Farm and Alemany Farm each had 11 native bees in common. However, each also had 11 native bees that were not found at the other location.
During 2016, our surveys resulted in identification of 53 different native bees. The details of these bees are still being analyzed by Jaime.
During 2017, we will continue our seasonal native bee surveys at The Bee Farm and at Alemany Farm. Want to participate? Stay tuned to our Facebook page for dates, times and locations.