One of Bees Days!

Bee Workshop participants.

Pictured: Jessica Cliff is 7th, and Lacy Roberts is 10th from the left.

Two Cerro Coso students, Jessica Cliff and Lacy Roberts, participated in the 2nd Native Bee Workshop at the College of the Canyons (CoC) on March 11-12, 2023. This workshop is part of the Campus as a Living Lab (CALL) initiative organized by CoC whose aim is to use college campuses as a living laboratory, where students can research native bee biodiversity. The objective was to teach students about native bees, their identification, collection and pinning practices, documentation, and data input, as well as their role in the ecosystem, and contributions to the pollination economy.

The two-day workshop covered various activities, including lectures, demonstrations, laboratory work, and a presentation by Krystle Hickman, a TEDx speaker, artist, and photographer motivated by her passion and curiosity of native bees. The first day of the workshop focused on lectures, where students were introduced to the concepts of native bee biology, the bee genera found in California, their characteristic morphology, and classification. On the second day, students participated in hands-on practice of bee identification using published keys and were also taught various methods of photographing bees for identification and archival purposes including the uploading of data to iNaturalist to be shared publicly.

This is the second year that Cerro Coso students have participated in the Native Bee Workshop. In the coming Spring, Jessica and Lacy will join three other students (Fatima Anwar, Elajae Lee and Aria Ayres) to survey native bee species around campus locations and nearby undeveloped areas. They will identify floral hosts that best support our local native bee population and create habitats for them. Given the spate of rainfalls recently and the possibility of super blooms, we are excited that we may be humming with bees. Students will present their findings at the Native Bee Conference in August. These students are mentored by Professors Claudia Sellers and Guck Ooi. Student travel was supported by the college student development funds (Katie Bachman, Director of Outreach Services).