This will translate this blog to speech.

A blog that will gradually post the results of a study of the bees found by refuge biologists and volunteers using bee bowls traps on USFWS Region 5 National Wildlife Refuges in the Northeastern United States.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fisherman's Island National Wildlife Refuge

This is a summary of bee data from 4 sampling locations (sampled twice) from Fisherman's Island National Wildlife Refuge collected in September 2008. Each field was sampled with 5 fluorescent yellow, 5 fluorescent blue, and 5 white 3.25 ounce bowl traps, however, one field was sampled with white styrofoam bowls when the others were not available.

A complete table of the data is available from Leo Shapiro (lshapiro@umd.edu), Sam Droege (sdroege@usgs.gov), or the refuge biologist.

Below is a table of the site numbers and a brief site description followed by a table of results.

5575 FINWR Site Styr9
5576 FINWR Site Styr10
5578 FINWR Site Styr12
5579 FINWR Site NOTstyr9
5580 FINWR Site NONstyr10
5582 FINWR Site NONstyr12

Refuge Collection Sites

Species 5575 5576 5578 5579 5580 5582 Grand Total
Agapostemon splendens 1 1

Augochlora pura

Ceratina dupla


1 2
Perdita boltoniae

1 2
Perdita consobrina

Megachile brevis

Grand Total 1 1 1 1 3 2 9

Note first of all that the 4 sites were run 2 separate times due to a bowl problem with the first run. As you can see from the table the results were extremely sparse. Some sets of bowls had no bees whatsoever. However, the bees that were gotten were extremely interesting. Agapostemon splendens is a bee of deep sandy sites, often found in dune systems and therefore no surprise here (it occurs in abundance all along Assateague Island, for example). The Augochlora, Ceratina, and Megachile are common bees, found just about anywhere, but the Perdita are quite rare. Both species are new state records for Virginia and in general would be restricted to dry, deep sand sites. Perdita boltoniae appears to be particularly fond of Chrysopsis (golden aster) which would be likely to be found at such sites. Perdita consobrina is interesting in that this is the northernmost record for that species and it appeared somewhat intermediate between the P. consobrina specimens from the Sandhills NWR and P. swenki, which is found in dune systems in the North (such as Long Island). We will be sending that specimen off to get its little DNA checked.

The head of P. consobrina taken from Mitchell's Bees of the Eastern United States.

Sam and Leo

To see the world in a grain of sand
and heaven in a wildflower,
hold infinity in the palm of your hand
and eternity in an hour.

- William Blake

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With Natural History there is no need to go to the moon or Madagascar; there is more to find in your woodlot than in our entire solar system.