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Re: [beemonitoring] What is the Phenological Start of the Bee Season in Western Alpine areas?

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  • David Inouye
    Salix is a good idea. There is an alpine species, but it s inconspicuous. Also widespread throughout the West (
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 28, 2010
      Salix is a good idea.  There is an alpine species, but it's inconspicuous.  Also widespread throughout the West ( http://plants.usda.gov/java/nameSearch?keywordquery=salix+nivalis&mode=sciname )

      It's pretty common to see Bombus queens on Salix shrubs at lower altitudes, maybe on the alpine species too.

      On Wed, Apr 28, 2010 at 8:37 PM, John S. Ascher <ascher@...> wrote:

      Sam and Cheryl,

      In my experience, conspicuous bee activity begins precisely when the
      earliest native willows start blooming. This can happen when there are
      still large patches of snow on the ground. In the mountains, it can be
      warm enough at midday for bee flight (ca. 55 deg. in the sun) even when
      night and average temps are still low. I've found Andrena and other bees
      in considerable abundance early in spring at high alpine passes where
      willow is in bloom, even though it still appeared "too early" for general
      flowering and bee activity at substantially lower elevations.

      Thus I recommend starting sampling on the first day with warm enough air
      temps for bee flight (ca. 55 deg?) within the blooming season of Salix at
      the elevation of interest (ask local botanists). Snow will likely still be
      present. If you wait until spring has fully arrived and there is general
      flowering you may miss Salix specialists, and in particular protandrous
      males of the earliest-emerging Andrena species.

      Good luck!


      > Sam,
      > Snowpack varies widely among years, so yes, your approach makes sense.
      > Classic early season alpine and subalpine flowers are the pasqueflowers
      > (refers to Passover and Easter, as they bloom about that time of year if
      > not
      > buried). I have seen their blooms poking up through snow. The eastern
      > pasqueflower, Pulsatilla patens, occurs in the Rocky mountain chain. The
      > white pasqueflower, Pulsatilla occidentalis, replaces it further west in
      > the
      > Sierras and north.
      > Cheryl Fimbel
      > The Nature Conservancy
      > Olympia, WA
      > From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [ mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com]
      > On Behalf Of Sam Droege
      > Sent: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 12:37 PM
      > To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      > Subject: [beemonitoring] What is the Phenological Start of the Bee Season
      > in
      > Western Alpine areas?
      > All:
      > As part of a large National Park Service Project we will be surveying
      > alpine
      > areas from the Southern Rockies and Sierra's up into Alaska. Since the
      > bee
      > season varies in alpine systems so greatly among years and localities we
      > are
      > trying to slice out a relatively similar phenological window to do
      > surveys.
      > We are thinking that it would be useful to use some set of early season
      > flowers as a flag to when surveys should begin.
      > So are questions are:
      > 1. Does this make sense?
      > 2. What set of flowers could be used that would encompass that geographic
      > range and capture about the same window?
      > 3. Do you have alternative suggestions or see potential problems?
      > Thank you.
      > sam
      > Sam Droege sdroege@...
      > w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      > USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      > BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD 20705
      > <Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/> Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

      > Velocity Meadows
      > I can say now that nothing was possible
      > But leaving the house and standing in front of it, staring
      > As long as I could into the valley. I knew that a train,
      > Trailing a scarf of smoke, would arrive, that soon it would rain.
      > A frieze of clouds lowered a shadow over the town,
      > And a driving wind flattened the meadows that swept
      > Beyond the olive trees and banks of hollyhock and rose.
      > The air smelled sweet, and a girl was waving a stick
      > At some crows so far away they seemed like flies.
      > Her mother, wearing a cape and shawl, shielded her eyes.
      > I wondered from what, since there was no sun. Then someone
      > Appeared and said, "Look at those clouds forming a wall, those crows
      > Falling out of the sky, those fields, pale green, green-yellow,
      > Rolling away, and that girl and her mother, waving goodbye."
      > In a moment the sky was stained with a reddish haze,
      > And the person beside me was running away. It was dusk,
      > The lights of the town were coming on, and I saw, dimly at first,
      > Close to the graveyard bound by rows of cypress bending down,
      > The girl and her mother, next to each other,
      > Smoking, grinding their heels into the ground.
      > - Mark Strand
      > P Bees are not optional.

      John S. Ascher, Ph.D.
      Bee Database Project Manager
      Division of Invertebrate Zoology
      American Museum of Natural History
      Central Park West @ 79th St.
      New York, NY 10024-5192
      work phone: 212-496-3447
      mobile phone: 917-407-0378

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