Happy Labor Day!
We had some trouble with the site over the last few days. It turned out to be a hardware problem that took longer than usual to identify. I apologize.
Nudges. I’ll begin with some nudges. Count some bees! We’d love to have data all fall if you can. Second, if you haven’t filled out your garden description form, please be sure to do so. Finally, remember we’re interested in the timing of things like flowering and fruiting in your sunflower. You can add that information at the submit phenology page. You can access all of these spots after you login by looking to your left.
Protocol. I had a few questions about the protocol change so, I thought I’d go over it quickly. Set up a chaire, get your coffee and get comfortable. To sample, write down the date, temperature, number of sunflowers blooming in your garden and number of flowers on the sunflower that you are watching. Then note (and write down) your start time. For each bee that visits your sunflower, record the time. You can stop when 15 minutes have passed or when you have seen five bees. Then, go to the website, click on submit observations and enter the data! That’s it.
Advice needed for next year. One of the things that I’m struggling with is how to fund the project. So many foundations are struggling like the rest of us that money is hard to raise. For next year, ,I’d really like to improve the website and get someone else to help with communicating. It turns out that the cost of mailing seeds is what really breaks the bank so, I’m trying to come up with a creative solution to do this. Some of my ideas are to partner with a seed company and have them send you free seeds if you purchase something, or o send free seeds to those who collected data this year but to charge a nominal fee to mail seeds to people who didn’t or to ask for a small fee from everyone. People could also save seed heads each year (though I haven’t tested how well these seeds germinate the next year). I’d love to hear any of your ideas or if you have a contact that would help. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos on Flickr! Over 100 people have posted their photos at the flickr website. Go take a look! You can find it here. And, do add some more. Angie described how to do a geocode (which means to associate your photo with a location). Here’s what she says:
1. Go to the Organize Tab and click at the top of this page.
2. You should see your photos at the bottom of the next screen.
3. Click on the Map Tab at the top.
4. Find your location.
5. DRAG your photos to the location.
6. After this your photos should not be rejected for lack of geocode.
7. You can adjust your latitude and longitude after the fact if you have a precise estimate.
Squash bees. Yesterday, I was collecting bees from squash flowers in Southeastern Arizona. If you go out to your garden, you can squeeze the closed up squash flowers. If they buzz (and make you jump a mile), you’ve found some sleeping squash bees. It’s a great thing to do with kids! These bees are generally in the genus Peponapis. One of the most interesting things about squash bees is that they have moved north with humans. As native Americans began cultivating squash in areas where squash weren’t native – like the northeastern US, squash bees have been able to establish in those areas. These squash bees are now found all the way into Ontario and Quebec! These bees are specialists on members of the squash family (including cucumbers) so, they can’t exist without these plants.
I hope you are all enjoying this season of bounty!
The Queen Bee