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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge

This is a summary of bee data from 5 sampling locations from Patuxent Wildlife Research Refuge collected in August 2008. Each field was sampled with 5 fluorescent yellow, 5 fluorescent blue, and 5 white 3.25 ounce bowl traps.

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.

Site Description
5620 PWRC Site 1: South Tract, by Hardy Spring Pond
5621 PWRC Site 2: Central Tract, right side of Cedar Lane by power lines
5622 PWRC Site 3: North Tract, by Telegraph Road
5623 PWRC Site 4: North Tract, Right side by Scout Site 1
5624 PWRC Site 5: North Tract, Wildlife loop by storage sheds

Site Locations

name 5624 5621 5620 5622 5623 Grand Total
Agapostemon texanus 1

Agapostemon virescens
Augochlorella aurata 2 3
1 3 9
Ceratina calcarata

Ceratina dupla

Halictus ligatus/poeyi 6

3 2 11
Lassioglossum bruneri 1

Lassioglossum coreopsis 2

2 1 5
Lassioglossum nelumbonis


Lassioglossum pilosum

1 1
Lassioglossum tegulare

2 1 3
Lassioglossum versatum

Megachile brevis 1

1 2
Megachile mendica

Melissodes desponsa

2 2
Peponapis pruinosa

1 1
Calliopsis andreniformis

Grand Total 13 10 1 30 12 66

This list of species is largely an expected one for an interior Maryland upland set of fields. The Lasioglossum nelumbonis is an uncommonly encountered species and is thought to be associated with water lilies. Since this particular site is located next to a pond containing water lilies this would be in keeping. It does seem odd that this site only had this one species present, and one specimen at that, but it may be a reflection of its isolation from other fields, being surrounded by extensive woodlands. The remaining species are all regionally occurring species and together the 18 species makes for a reasonable species total. Overall a solid list, but nothing in particular stands out about this list of bees.

Because we have sampled at Patuxent for so many years, we have accumulated a long list of species as well as a number of state records and rare species. Such species are not found in the surrounding suburban communities, where we have also been sampling. So it is interesting to see that doing 5 fields for one day on the refuge, while demonstrating that bees are present and the list substantial, we found only a fraction of all the species we know to be present and none of the very rare ones. A more complete and extensive survey would be needed to do that.

Lasioglossum nelumbonis - Photo by John Pascarella

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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.