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  • Great Pollinator Project | Great Pollinator Project
    for them Rural farmers aren t the only people who depend on the services of bees and other pollinators City dwellers do too Most plants in community gardens parks and urban natural areas rely on bees to move pollen from flower to flower so that the plants can reproduce Fortunately because insect pollinators are tiny there is much that can be done in urban environments to support them even in small habitat patches On this site you can Learn more about native bees and other pollinators in New York City and beyond Find out how to grow a pollinator garden Find out how to volunteer in a citizen science pollinator project Read about the results of the Bee Watcher citizen science project If you are a land manager or gardener working for a city agency or other organization you can use this site to find technical resources about pollinator conservation in the region Finally if you are a teacher or parent you ll find links to useful programs and curricula about pollinators and their needs Featured Resource Check out these close up images of native bees and other insects from the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab They are freely available for use by all Black and gold bumble bee Bombus auricomus Pollinator Paradise Bee populations have been burgeoning at the Highline the former elevated freight railroad spur turned floriferous park along 10 th Avenue in Manhattan from Ganesevoort Street to West 20 th Street On June 8 2011 a new stretch of the Highline opened to the public running from West 20 th Street to West 30 th Street doubling the park s length Overflowing with flowers like summersweet mountain mint butterfly weed blazingstar and beebalm it makes the Highline twice the pollinator paradise It s definitely worth a

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/ (2016-05-02)
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  • Bee Types | Great Pollinator Project
    Agapostemon species have a brilliant green thorax but black abdomen Augochlora species nest in rotting wood while Agapostemon and Augochlorella nest in soil Augochlorella sp Photo by J Ascher Sphecodes cuckoo bees genus Sphecodes 9 species Small to medium sized sparsely haired and shiny Females are often dark red Parasitize nests of Agapostemon Halictus and Lasioglossum Sphecodes sp Photo by Tom Murray Family Andrenidae Miner Bees Miner bees genus Andrena 57 species The most diverse group of bees in New York City but also the most difficult to observe Most are solitary nesters that build their nests in the soil and emerge only in early spring Can be small to medium in size and exhibit a variety of colorations Claytonia bee Andrena eringinae Photo by J Ascher Family Melittidae Melittid Bees Macropis oil collecting bees genus Macropis 3 species Small 0 8 cm Males have entirely yellow face In addition to gathering pollen these bees also collect floral oils from yellow loosestrife flowers These oils are mixed with the pollen as food for their developing larvae and are used to line their brood cells to provide a protective layer These bees have not been found in New York City in many decades and are of regional conservation concern They construct nests in the ground often near wet habitats Macropis sp Photo by J Ascher Family Megachilidae Leaf cutter Bees Mason Bees and Allies Leaf cutter bees genus Megachile 18 species Medium sized 0 8 1 0 cm with brown black or white bands on abdomen and hairs on the underside of abdomen Build nests in cavities including building walls and hollow plant stems such as rose lilac and Virginia creeper Megachile brevis Photo by K Matteson Leaf cutter cuckoo bees genus Coelioxys 5 species Medium sized with tapering triangular abdomen Parasites of leaf cutter bees Coelioxys sayi Photo by J Ascher Mason bees genus Osmia 8 species Rotund medium sized bees at times with brilliant metallic green blue or purple coloration Similar to Megachile species they carry pollen on underside of abdomen Osmia bucephala Photo by J Ascher Wool carder bees genus Anthidium 2 species Rotund medium sized bees with distinctive yellow and black coloration The common name is due to the behavior of the females who scrape hairs off of leaves to create a soft nest where they lay their eggs Often observed on the garden plants lamb s ear Stachys lanata byzantina and foxgloves Digitalis species Wool carder bee Anthidium manicatum Photo by E Johnson Family Apidae Bumble Honey Cuckoo Long horned and Carpenter Bees Bumble bees genus Bombus 11 species Large 1 cm hairy bees Hives are often constructed in tree cavities or abandoned rodent burrows A colony includes a queen and up to 100 workers Bombus fervidus Photo by K Matteson Honey Bee Apis mellifera 1 species The common honey bee medium sized with golden brown coloration Exist in New York City both as managed hives and feral colonies in parks cemeteries and other green spaces

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/bees/bee-types (2016-05-02)
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  • Bee Identification | Great Pollinator Project
    all eastern North American bee genera These link to associated species pages featuring dynamic maps images and descriptive text Bryn Mawr College and Rutgers University Native Bee Benefits which includes a pictorial guide to important pollinators for farms in New Jersey and Pennsylvania see also http www extension org pages 26310 identification of native bees Collecting and Identifying Bees Cornell University s Bee Health website Great Sunflower Project bee observer cards this is not a regional guide but has useful information In addition to physically collecting insects digital photography is increasingly being used to identify some bees Digital photos of NYC bees and of any North American insect can be submitted to BugGuide for identification Provided that relevant structures of the insect are in focus bee and other insect taxonomy experts should be able to identify the insect in your image BugGuide guide pages cover most species regularly identified from NewYork City Tips for Photographing Bees Not many people have taken more photographs of bees than the Great Pollinator Project s Dr Kevin Matteson Here in his words are some recommendations I use a digital ultrazoom camera with an image stabilizer currently I have a Canon Powershot S2 IS with 5 megapixels and 12x optical zoom although Olympus and other manufacturers make similar models I have found this to work well for taking closeup pics of bees that are 5 to 10 feet away and in bright sunlight The camera is smaller than the SLR single lens reflex digital models so a bit easier to manage in the field I think it is more important to have the optical zoom capability this is different than digital zoom than lots of megapixels usually what people are taught to ask about when purchasing a digital camera When mentioning that insect photography is

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/bees/bee-identification (2016-05-02)
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  • Where They Live | Great Pollinator Project
    in garden soil and some have even been observed building nests in potted plants One observer found a plasterer bee building a nest in a potted Venus Fly Trap plant that had been placed outside for part of the summer When looking for bee nests in the soil be aware that many animals build nests in the soil If you see a hole it could be a bee but it also could be a beetle worm wasp ants or something else One way to find out is to place a plastic cup on the top of a suspected soil bee nest and wait to see what emerges Our experience is that a garden park or other site that at first glance seems devoid of soil nesting bees may upon closer inspection actually have many nests After soil the next most common nesting location for bees in New York City is cavities accounting for 24 percent of the City s bees Cavity nesters are also often called aerial nesters because the cavities are typically in plant stems above the ground Common cavity nesters include leaf cutter bees genus Megachile masked bees genus Hylaeus and mason bees genus Osmia Shrubs in which cavity nesters are often observed include roses hydrangeas and lilacs In general however any plant with pithy or hollow stems may be suitable for cavity nesting bees For strategies on protecting and providing bee nesting sites see Management Just 6 percent of New York City bees nest in hives This group includes the European honey bee and bumble bees European honey bees may nest in managed hives honey bee keeping recently was legalized in the City or exist as feral colonies in hives located in parks cemeteries and other locations Feral colonies are created when a new or deposed queen leads a swarm to a new nest location outside of the managed hive This can be in a tree cavity a hole in the side of a house or a variety of other locations to which honey bee keepers are often called to remove bees each spring Bumble bees often nest in abandoned rodent nests and possibly in tree cavities Bumble bees are very abundant in New York City so it is curious that nests are rarely reported One nest was identified by citizen science bee watchers in ground ivy at Madison Square Park in Manhattan By careful observation of bumble bee flight patterns it should be possible to locate other nests Very few bee species in New York City are dependent on hard or rotting wood for nest sites Three species of small sweat bee genus Lasioglossum and one species of green metallic bee Augochlora pura nest in rotting wood Just one species the large Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica constructs nests in hard wood The entrances to carpenter bee nests can be identified as nearly perfect dime sized circles which often have a small pile of sawdust on the ground below them By placing your ear to the

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/bees/where-they-live (2016-05-02)
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  • Who They Live With | Great Pollinator Project
    nests with pollen Solitary bees include miner bees genus Andrena 58 species leaf cutter bees genus Megachile 18 species mason bees genus Osmia 26 species masked bees genus Hylaeus 11 species long horned bees genus Melissodes 9 species plasterer bees genus Colletes 7 species note that plasterer bees are considered solitary because each female builds her own nest for rearing young although they often form aggregations where many nests are close to each other small sweat bees genus Lasioglossum 6 species note however that some small sweat bees species are primitively eusocial see below for details and small carpenter bees genus Ceratina 3 species The solitary lifestyle contrasts with the behavior of subsocial species four in New York City in which the mother continues to feed the larvae as they develop a progressive step towards greater social interaction Subsocial species in the city include the large Eastern Carpenter Bee Xylocopa virginica and three much rarer bees Pseudopanurgus compositarum Family Andrenidae Ptilothrix bombiformis Family Apidae and Svastra oblique Family Apidae There are other types of social behavior in bees as well such as parasocial quasisocial semisocial and even sleeping aggregations For more information about these see The Social Behavior of the Bees A Comparative Study by Charles Michener which is available for free via Google Books Fifteen percent of New York City s bee species are termed eusocial because they exhibit much more complex social behavior including physically differentiated castes such as workers drones and queens that contribute in different ways to the well being of the colony by foraging for example or reproducing Bumble bees genus Bombus 11 species some small sweat bees genus Lasioglossum 19 species and some green metallic bees genus Halictus 3 species are classified as primitively eusocial because colonies are not perennial all individuals die in

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/bees/who-they-live-with (2016-05-02)
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  • Specialist Bee Plants | Great Pollinator Project
    same genus are present Roughly 80 percent of the bee species in New York City are polylectic suggesting that they may be better able to make do with the types of flowers found in an urban environment Following is a list of the plants required by the city s 50 oligolectic or monolectic bees Aster Family Asteraceae 28 dependent bee species One leaf cutter bee Megachile apicalis specifically benefits from Centaurea while the long horned bee Melissodes desponsa specifically benefits from Cirsium The other 26 bee species seem to have relatively broad tastes within the Aster Family Carrot Family Apicaceae 1 dependent bee species The masked bee Hylaeus sparsus is very rare and has not been observed in New York City for several decades Cabbage Family Brassicaceae 1 dependent bee species The miner bee Andrena arabis is also very rare and has not been observed for several decades Dogwood Family Cornaceae 3 dependent bee species Plants in the genus Cornus in particular are preferred by three rare species of miner bee genus Andrena Heath Family Ericaceae 4 dependent bee species Plants in the genus Vaccinium blueberries are primarily used by the miner bee Andrena carolina and the Southeastern Blueberry Bee Habropoda laboriosa Rhododendron is utilized by Andrena cornelli Geranium Family Geraniaceae 1 dependent bee species This miner bee Andrena distans is very rare Mallow Family Malvaceae 1 dependent bee species As its common name suggests Ptilothrix bombiformis the Hibiscus Bee specifically prefers Hibiscus Water lily Family Nymphaceae 1 dependent bee species The small sweat bee Lasioglossum nelumbonis depends on flowers from water lilies Evening Primrose Family Onagraceae 1 dependent bee species Lasioglossum oenotherae a small sweat bee is dependent on evening primrose and other flowers in the genus Oenothera Primrose Family Primulaceae 3 dependent bee species The exceptionally rare Macropis

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/bees/specialist-bee-plants (2016-05-02)
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  • Other Pollinators | Great Pollinator Project
    which ones are most effective at pollinating different flowers Wasps Wasps which are often confused with bees are sometimes observed on flowers Bees can be considered vegetarian wasps because they feed their larvae pollen whereas many wasps feed their larvae insect prey However adults of both bees and wasps may visit flowers for nectar Most wasps are not very hairy and thus probably have a relatively low likelihood of transmitting pollen Common wasp flower visitors include social yellow jacket or paper wasps such as Vespula maculifrons and Polistes dominulus Butterflies and Moths Butterflies are conspicuous when present but not nearly as abundant as bees comprising just 6 percent of the flower visitors in New York City Unlike bees which actively collect pollen and nectar to feed to their young butterflies as well as moths visit flowers only to seek nourishment from flower nectar for themselves In addition because most butterflies have long legs the likelihood of their body contacting and transmitting pollen may be much lower than bees Nevertheless the diversity of butterflies in the New York City area is quite high at least 110 species were documented in a 50 km radius of the city from 2001 to 2010 Some butterflies such as the Bronze Copper and Silver bordered Fritillary are quite rare and worthy of conservation Beetles Although beetles are important pollinators of several plants in tropical regions they are not commonly observed on flowers in the New York City area Tumbling Flower Beetles Family Mordellidae and June Beetles Family Scarabidae are among the beetles that have been observed on flowers here Other beetles in this area may be nocturnal pollinators see below In particular magnolias pond lilies goldenrod and spirea are visited and pollinated by beetles Nocturnal pollinators Most of the pollinators described thus far are active

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/other-pollinators (2016-05-02)
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  • Resources | Great Pollinator Project
    Brooklyn shared by Timothy Forker PDFs and Handouts Bee Watchers Bee Fact Sheet contains general information about bees Honey Bee Disappearance and What You Can Do NAAPC Plants Attractive to Native Bees USDA Better with Bees discusses the benefits of bees in urban gardens Home Made Sweet Homes How to create nest sites for bees USDA Forest Service More on Native Pollinators NPR interview with entomologist Stephen Buchmann co author of The Forgotten Pollinators in honor of pollinator week 2009 National Wildlife magazine article about native pollinators 2009 Great Pollinator Project coverage in NPR Science Friday and The New York Academy of Sciences 2009 An interesting page on the U S Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers website on pollinator syndromes the co evolved physical characteristics that make plants and their pollinators interact successfully The role of native bees in apple pollination See link for research details For popular article on same research see Native bees are better pollinators more plentiful than honeybees finds entomologist 2011 The Pollinator bibliographic database includes more than 10 000 references about pollination biology an invaluable resource Developed and maintained by David Inouye Insect and Bee Conservation Organizations The Xerces Society is the leader in invertebrate conservation and their site has many resources of value to those interested in preserving bees North American Pollinator Protection Campaign a collaborative effort by scientists researchers conservationists government officials and volunteers to raise pollinator related issues and to benefit the health of all species particularly those most threatened Pollinator Partnership works to protect the health of managed and native pollinating animals vital to North American ecosystems and agriculture Among the wealth of information on the P2 website are ecoregional planting guides for pollinators Gardening for Pollinators Delaware Native Plants for Native Bees USDA NRCS and Delaware Department of Agriculture technical bulletin

    Original URL path: http://greatpollinatorproject.org/pollinators/resources (2016-05-02)
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