Photo Courtesy Xerces Society
Bumble bee citizen science training programs hosted by Bumble Bee Watch partners contribute much need data and expand public awareness of bumble bee conservation. These programs have significantly increased submissions on the website and the demand for verification of many new records. In an effort to supplement verification of bumble bee records, early in December, we solicited the help of expert verifiers during a one-week Bumble Bee Watch verifier blitz! Please keep reading for summaries of training programs and results of the blitz. Also, we want to hear from you! If you are a Bumble Bee Watch contributor, please take a few moments to share your experience by completing the survey below. [Select the Bumble Bee link above to see this survey and other information.]
I got a notice this morning from the Xerces society that I belong to regarding their Bumble Bee Watch Citizen Science program described above and thought I would share with my readers. Citizen Science programs are great ways to get people outdoors and interacting in healthy ways with nature. They are excellent and inexpensive ways for urban park departments to add meaningful programs with little cost to their offerings--along with activities like Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing).
Garland Community Garden Update
Speaking of citizen science projects, Loving Garland Green, official stewards of the Garland Community Garden, launched our first Citizen science project for 2018 on January 6. This story is featured on another one of my posts--The Tulip Project. This project is sponsored by Journey North. So far, the Garland Community Garden is one of a growing number of gardens in Texas participating in this particular project. We planted the fifty bulbs 7 inches deep according to instructions and last Saturday, Jane and I removed some of the soil from one area of the bed to discover the tulip stem is a little less than 2 inches from breaking through.
ADDENDUM: Added Jan 25 11:25
NEW WORLD/OLD WORLD BED
I forgot to mention that we have two new special beds planned at the Garland Community Garden this year. We will have one bed filled Old World plants the European settlers brought to the New World and the other bed will be filled with New World edibles that were taken back to Old World.
Bumblebee in Garland Community Garden - August 2017 - Photo by E. Berry
Informal Observation about Bumblebees in our Garland Community Garden
In April of 2014 we planted our first garden bed. Then that summer some beekeepers installed a honeybee hive at the edge the riparian area. In the late summer of 2016 the hive was removed. In 2017 we noticed a huge increase in the number bumblebees and native bees. Prior to 2017 I would guess that I noticed one or two bumblebees now and then when working down at the garden. In 2017 the bumblebees and other native bees were countless. The European honeybee is not known for its friendly manners and some say that it drives away our native bees (who do the lion's share of pollination of our crops).
Update on Activities of the Garland Makerspace Discovery Group
Thanks to the amazing collaboration among members at our last meeting on January 23, we are now moving at a momentum approaching the speed of light toward nonprofit certification and our official public launch. You will be able to come and meet us at one of the April Garland Market Place events where we are planning to have a booth. I'm almost as thrilled to be part of this great community-connected project as I am thrilled to be part of the activities at the Garland Community Garden.