The Marin Municipal Water District (MMWD) and San Francisco State University have begun studying the bees of Mt. Tamalpais. This is the first time this part of Marin has ever been surveyed for pollinators.
The volunteer event involves sorting through the insects that were collected in traps on the mountain. We will separate bees from other insects and debris and then attach the bees to small pins by piercing or gluing them to the pins. Labels are then affixed. These prepared specimens are then sent off to entomologists for further study.
Ages 13 and up. RSVP required as space is limited. To RSVP, please call 415-945-1128.
Researchers will also generate a historical species list and review plant species currently known to be extirpated or declining, to identify potential pollinator species at risk. They will also seek to understand changes in bee composition relevant to MMWD’s Forest Resiliency Project, and whether fuel break work opens up the landscape for bee populations to increase. The team has chosen sites with high wildflower diversity, a good predictor for pollinators. The sites will be sampled again in five years to study species increases or decreases – however, information from this will be immediately useful to land managers. The data sampling method aligns with methods used nationally, so the data can be compared to sites across the nation. The team may even encounter new species of California pollinators!