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ground nesting bees in school yards

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  • Stoner, Kimberly
    Hi bee group, I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut. An
    Message 1 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
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      Hi bee group,

       

      I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.

       

      I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 

       

      A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.

       

      However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.

       

      I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, generally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.

       

      The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example.  A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.

       

      So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?

       

      In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.

       

      Thanks,

      Kim Stoner

      http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html

      http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it

       

      The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk

      And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn

      http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y

       

    • Cane, Jim
      Kim- you pretty much have it right as you have stated it. I _have_ been stung by a big Andrena, once, but it was on the thin skin of my nose tip as I was
      Message 2 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
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        Kim- you pretty much have it right as you have stated it.  I _have_ been stung by a big Andrena, once, but it was on the thin skin of my nose tip as I was pinching and smelling the bee through the net (for mandibular gland secretions).  You might say I had it coming.  It felt like a pin prick, and if there was any venom at all, I did not notice it.

         

        That is sad that the shrill demands of some fearful parents could make their kid’s school yard even more sterile than it no doubt already is by killing those bees.  You might mention that kids rolling around in whatever is used to spray the bees is likely to be far worse than the miniscule chance that one child might get a pinprick sting.  Little boys like I once was get into far worse trouble, like when I threw rocks at a hornet nest, not thinking of my fate if I hit it (which I did).  I obviously didn’t die, but it was memorable.

         

        I’ll bet that you can be gently reasoning and persuasive with your knowledge, Kim.  Good luck!

         

        Jim

         

        ===============================

        James H. Cane

        USDA-ARS Pollinating Insect Research Unit

        Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322 USA

        tel: 435-797-3879   FAX: 435-797-0461

        email: Jim.Cane@... 

        web page: http://www.ars.usda.gov/Research/docs.htm?docid=18333

        publications: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/piru/

        Gardening for Bees: http://extension.usu.edu/files/publications/factsheet/plants-pollinators09.pdf

         





        This electronic message contains information generated by the USDA solely for the intended recipients. Any unauthorized interception of this message or the use or disclosure of the information it contains may violate the law and subject the violator to civil or criminal penalties. If you believe you have received this message in error, please notify the sender and delete the email immediately.
      • Odo Natasaki
        This is very neat as it reminds me of when I was 6 years old in Grade 1 and I would lie on my stomach and watch all these ground-nesting bees or wasps (didn t
        Message 3 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
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          This is very neat as it reminds me of when I was 6 years old in Grade 1
          and I would lie on my stomach and watch all these ground-nesting bees or
          wasps (didn't know then), going down their respective nest entrances in
          hard packed dirt. All this much to the curiosity of the other boys playing
          soccer around me. Yes, I did go on to play for the Gr. 7 soccer team, but
          I was still a nerdy bug kid at heart, much like I am now. It's just that
          it's now actually considered fascinating for the general public, and to be
          giving presentations and teaching to foodies, flower and naturalist types.
          It was because of events such as this that made me an entomologist. It's
          too bad this school doesn't have someone like me go in and give a
          presentation that is invigourating, somewhat humourous, passionate but all
          the while, scientifically accurate. The parents need to be educated here
          in my opinion as well. This is a perfect opportunity for native bee
          awareness.

          Good luck and let me know what transpires.

          Cheers,

          Gord Hutchings
          Cobble Hill, B.C.


          > Hi bee group,
          >
          > I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and
          > the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut. An
          > elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting
          > bees. Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district
          > with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
          >
          > I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived
          > with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone
          > has any specimens. Apparently no one has any.
          >
          > A lot of the details are not clear - when during the year the bees were
          > active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether
          > anyone was actually stung. We will see in the meeting on Monday whether
          > anybody has any useful information.
          >
          > However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if
          > possible.
          >
          > I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see
          > here in residential areas are various species of Colletes - inaequalis and
          > thoracicus, generally. I have often told people that they are very
          > unlikely to sting. Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying
          > they don't sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them. But,
          > elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I
          > suppose.
          >
          > The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.
          > I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans - their
          > stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do
          > sting occasionally - when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for
          > example. A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the
          > hazard.
          >
          > So here is the question: Does anyone have actual scientific documentation
          > of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
          >
          > In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin
          > School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn's daughter goes to school), where
          > kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have
          > adopted the "tickle bees" as the school mascot. Someone must have
          > researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before
          > encouraging the kids to play with them. It is a cool story, I'll provide
          > links below.
          >
          > Thanks,
          > Kim Stoner
          > http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html
          > http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it
          >
          > The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk
          > And here's the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
          > http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y
          >
          >


          }\(-.-)/{
          https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement
        • <treetops5@...>
          Kim, CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be helpful for the Superintendent to have on file. Also, it would be great if some
          Message 4 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
          • 1 Attachment
          • 9.2 MB
          Kim,



          CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be
          helpful for the Superintendent to have on file.



          Also, it would be great if some of their science teachers or a group of
          hands-on parents might consider turning this into an outdoor classroom
          experience. Instead of killing the bees they could observe/study them safely
          by creating a pollinator habitat around their nesting sites. Lots of
          potential for learning there and how fun! The recent U.S. presidential
          memorandum might even lend weight to such an argument.



          I'd be interested to hear how things turn out, as this seems to come up
          fairly often at elementary schools.


          Best,

          Lisa Kuder
        • Jack Neff
          I think its fairly well known that most andrenids can t sting due to a reduction of the sting apparatus (although like Jim, I have been stung by an andrenid,
          Message 5 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
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            I think its fairly well known that most andrenids can't sting due to a reduction of the sting apparatus (although like Jim, I have been stung by an andrenid, in my case a  large Pseudopanurgus I was holding in my fingers -also it seemed to be purely mechanical - no obvious venom effects).  A recent reference on this subject is L. Packer, 2003.  Comparative morphology of the skeletal parts of the sting apparatus of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea).  Zoological Journal of the Linnaean Society 183: 1-38.

            Solitary bees are generally non-aggressive and even if they can sting, they won't sting unless you trap them them against your skin.  I would be a little less sanguine about halictids as many are social and tend to be a little quicker on the trigger  but even they do not respond in the pheromone stimulated mass defensive manner of honey bees.

            The only real danger of a sting from a solitary would be an allergic reaction and as the venom of most solitaries is much simpler than that of the dreaded honey bee, it is not clear if this is a real problem.

            best

            Jack
             
            John L. Neff
            Central Texas Melittological Institute
            7307 Running Rope
            Austin,TX 78731 USA
            512-345-7219


            On Friday, August 22, 2014 2:26 PM, "'Odo Natasaki' odonatas@... [beemonitoring]" <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


             
            This is very neat as it reminds me of when I was 6 years old in Grade 1
            and I would lie on my stomach and watch all these ground-nesting bees or
            wasps (didn't know then), going down their respective nest entrances in
            hard packed dirt. All this much to the curiosity of the other boys playing
            soccer around me. Yes, I did go on to play for the Gr. 7 soccer team, but
            I was still a nerdy bug kid at heart, much like I am now. It's just that
            it's now actually considered fascinating for the general public, and to be
            giving presentations and teaching to foodies, flower and naturalist types.
            It was because of events such as this that made me an entomologist. It's
            too bad this school doesn't have someone like me go in and give a
            presentation that is invigourating, somewhat humourous, passionate but all
            the while, scientifically accurate. The parents need to be educated here
            in my opinion as well. This is a perfect opportunity for native bee
            awareness.

            Good luck and let me know what transpires.

            Cheers,

            Gord Hutchings
            Cobble Hill, B.C.

            > Hi bee group,
            >
            > I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and
            > the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut. An
            > elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting
            > bees. Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district
            > with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
            >
            > I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived
            > with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone
            > has any specimens. Apparently no one has any.
            >
            > A lot of the details are not clear - when during the year the bees were
            > active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether
            > anyone was actually stung. We will see in the meeting on Monday whether
            > anybody has any useful information.
            >
            > However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if
            > possible.
            >
            > I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see
            > here in residential areas are various species of Colletes - inaequalis and
            > thoracicus, generally. I have often told people that they are very
            > unlikely to sting. Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying
            > they don't sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them. But,
            > elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I
            > suppose.
            >
            > The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.
            > I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans - their
            > stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do
            > sting occasionally - when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for
            > example. A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the
            > hazard.
            >
            > So here is the question: Does anyone have actual scientific documentation
            > of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
            >
            > In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin
            > School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn's daughter goes to school), where
            > kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have
            > adopted the "tickle bees" as the school mascot. Someone must have
            > researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before
            > encouraging the kids to play with them. It is a cool story, I'll provide
            > links below.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Kim Stoner
            > http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html
            > http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it
            >
            > The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk
            > And here's the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
            > http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y
            >
            >

            }\(-.-)/{
            https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement



          • Stoner, Kimberly
            I printed it out and I noticed that too! Kim From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Neff
            Message 6 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
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              I printed it out and I noticed that too!

              Kim

               

              From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jack Neff jlnatctmi@... [beemonitoring]
              Sent: Friday, August 22, 2014 4:45 PM
              To: treetops5@...; beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: ground nesting bees in school yards

               

               

              That CDC pictorial key is probably better than nothing but the bee part certainly has a lot of problems.

               

              Jack

               

              John L. Neff
              Central Texas Melittological Institute
              7307 Running Rope
              Austin,TX 78731 USA
              512-345-7219

               

              On Friday, August 22, 2014 3:01 PM, "treetops5@... [beemonitoring]" <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

               

               

              [Attachment(s) from treetops5@... included below]

              Kim,

              CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be
              helpful for the Superintendent to have on file.

              Also, it would be great if some of their science teachers or a group of
              hands-on parents might consider turning this into an outdoor classroom
              experience. Instead of killing the bees they could observe/study them safely
              by creating a pollinator habitat around their nesting sites. Lots of
              potential for learning there and how fun! The recent U.S. presidential
              memorandum might even lend weight to such an argument.

              I'd be interested to hear how things turn out, as this seems to come up
              fairly often at elementary schools.

              Best,

              Lisa Kuder

               

            • Jack Neff
              That CDC pictorial key is probably better than nothing but the bee part certainly has a lot of problems. Jack   John L. Neff Central Texas Melittological
              Message 7 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
              • 0 Attachment
                That CDC pictorial key is probably better than nothing but the bee part certainly has a lot of problems.

                Jack
                 
                John L. Neff
                Central Texas Melittological Institute
                7307 Running Rope
                Austin,TX 78731 USA
                512-345-7219


                On Friday, August 22, 2014 3:01 PM, "treetops5@... [beemonitoring]" <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


                 
                [Attachment(s) from treetops5@... included below]
                Kim,

                CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be
                helpful for the Superintendent to have on file.

                Also, it would be great if some of their science teachers or a group of
                hands-on parents might consider turning this into an outdoor classroom
                experience. Instead of killing the bees they could observe/study them safely
                by creating a pollinator habitat around their nesting sites. Lots of
                potential for learning there and how fun! The recent U.S. presidential
                memorandum might even lend weight to such an argument.

                I'd be interested to hear how things turn out, as this seems to come up
                fairly often at elementary schools.

                Best,

                Lisa Kuder



              • Dave Almquist
                I wonder if they could just rope off the area, put up some signs, and use it as an educational area. To: Kimberly.Stoner@ct.gov CC:
                Message 8 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
                • 0 Attachment
                  I wonder if they could just rope off  the area, put up some signs, and use it as an educational area.


                  To: Kimberly.Stoner@...
                  CC: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                  From: beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 12:26:31 -0700
                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                   
                  This is very neat as it reminds me of when I was 6 years old in Grade 1
                  and I would lie on my stomach and watch all these ground-nesting bees or
                  wasps (didn't know then), going down their respective nest entrances in
                  hard packed dirt. All this much to the curiosity of the other boys playing
                  soccer around me. Yes, I did go on to play for the Gr. 7 soccer team, but
                  I was still a nerdy bug kid at heart, much like I am now. It's just that
                  it's now actually considered fascinating for the general public, and to be
                  giving presentations and teaching to foodies, flower and naturalist types.
                  It was because of events such as this that made me an entomologist. It's
                  too bad this school doesn't have someone like me go in and give a
                  presentation that is invigourating, somewhat humourous, passionate but all
                  the while, scientifically accurate. The parents need to be educated here
                  in my opinion as well. This is a perfect opportunity for native bee
                  awareness.

                  Good luck and let me know what transpires.

                  Cheers,

                  Gord Hutchings
                  Cobble Hill, B.C.

                  > Hi bee group,
                  >
                  > I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and
                  > the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut. An
                  > elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting
                  > bees. Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district
                  > with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
                  >
                  > I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived
                  > with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone
                  > has any specimens. Apparently no one has any.
                  >
                  > A lot of the details are not clear - when during the year the bees were
                  > active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether
                  > anyone was actually stung. We will see in the meeting on Monday whether
                  > anybody has any useful information.
                  >
                  > However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if
                  > possible.
                  >
                  > I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see
                  > here in residential areas are various species of Colletes - inaequalis and
                  > thoracicus, generally. I have often told people that they are very
                  > unlikely to sting. Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying
                  > they don't sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them. But,
                  > elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I
                  > suppose.
                  >
                  > The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.
                  > I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans - their
                  > stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do
                  > sting occasionally - when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for
                  > example. A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the
                  > hazard.
                  >
                  > So here is the question: Does anyone have actual scientific documentation
                  > of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
                  >
                  > In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin
                  > School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn's daughter goes to school), where
                  > kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have
                  > adopted the "tickle bees" as the school mascot. Someone must have
                  > researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before
                  > encouraging the kids to play with them. It is a cool story, I'll provide
                  > links below.
                  >
                  > Thanks,
                  > Kim Stoner
                  > http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html
                  > http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it
                  >
                  > The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk
                  > And here's the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
                  > http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y
                  >
                  >

                  }\(-.-)/{
                  https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement


                • Peter Bernhardt
                  Dear Lisa: I agree with you. This is a situation that NAPPC needs to monitor. Yes, these matters come up often but perhaps there s something we can do to
                  Message 9 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
                  • 0 Attachment
                    Dear Lisa:

                    I agree with you.  This is a situation that NAPPC needs to monitor.  Yes, these matters come up often but perhaps there's something we can do to turn this around and use it as a textbook case when it arises gain (and it always will).  Gordon Frankie has introduced children to bees in city gardens at Berkeley without a need for ambulances or lawsuits.  His book will be out in a few weeks on California bees.  His comments on this case would be valuable for all of us.

                    On the one hand, parents seem perfectly happy when elementary schools introduce the children to the elements of horticulture and they seem to prefer a nicely landscaped building.  On the other hand, they want every arthropod on school grounds eradicated before their children are allowed out for recess.  You can't have a nice garden, or even a nice lawn, without resident arthropods. The parents need the education as much as their children (probably more).

                    My first elementary school had a vast property that abutted the ton lake.  In good warm weather we had swarms of Japanese beetles at recess and we all played with them.  In fact, we did awful things to them.  No teacher stopped us.  There were never any complaints from parents.  

                    Peter




                    On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM, treetops5@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                     
                    [Attachment(s) from treetops5@... included below]

                    Kim,

                    CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be
                    helpful for the Superintendent to have on file.

                    Also, it would be great if some of their science teachers or a group of
                    hands-on parents might consider turning this into an outdoor classroom
                    experience. Instead of killing the bees they could observe/study them safely
                    by creating a pollinator habitat around their nesting sites. Lots of
                    potential for learning there and how fun! The recent U.S. presidential
                    memorandum might even lend weight to such an argument.

                    I'd be interested to hear how things turn out, as this seems to come up
                    fairly often at elementary schools.

                    Best,

                    Lisa Kuder


                  • Odo Natasaki
                    Maybe this school s administrator would benefit knowing the discussion it has generated on this site and maybe a sample cc d to him/her showing these
                    Message 10 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
                    • 0 Attachment
                      Maybe this school's administrator would benefit knowing the discussion it
                      has generated on this site and maybe a sample 'cc'd' to him/her showing
                      these valuable comments.

                      Gord Hutchings


                      > Dear Lisa:
                      >
                      > I agree with you. This is a situation that NAPPC needs to monitor. Yes,
                      > these matters come up often but perhaps there's something we can do to
                      > turn
                      > this around and use it as a textbook case when it arises gain (and it
                      > always will). Gordon Frankie has introduced children to bees in city
                      > gardens at Berkeley without a need for ambulances or lawsuits. His book
                      > will be out in a few weeks on California bees. His comments on this case
                      > would be valuable for all of us.
                      >
                      > On the one hand, parents seem perfectly happy when elementary schools
                      > introduce the children to the elements of horticulture and they seem to
                      > prefer a nicely landscaped building. On the other hand, they want every
                      > arthropod on school grounds eradicated before their children are allowed
                      > out for recess. You can't have a nice garden, or even a nice lawn,
                      > without
                      > resident arthropods. The parents need the education as much as their
                      > children (probably more).
                      >
                      > My first elementary school had a vast property that abutted the ton lake.
                      > In good warm weather we had swarms of Japanese beetles at recess and we
                      > all played with them. In fact, we did awful things to them. No teacher
                      > stopped us. There were never any complaints from parents.
                      >
                      > Peter
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM, treetops5@... [beemonitoring] <
                      > beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                      >
                      >>
                      >> [Attachment(s) <#147ff4f5478c1a53_TopText> from treetops5@...
                      >> included below]
                      >>
                      >> Kim,
                      >>
                      >> CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be
                      >> helpful for the Superintendent to have on file.
                      >>
                      >> Also, it would be great if some of their science teachers or a group of
                      >> hands-on parents might consider turning this into an outdoor classroom
                      >> experience. Instead of killing the bees they could observe/study them
                      >> safely
                      >> by creating a pollinator habitat around their nesting sites. Lots of
                      >> potential for learning there and how fun! The recent U.S. presidential
                      >> memorandum might even lend weight to such an argument.
                      >>
                      >> I'd be interested to hear how things turn out, as this seems to come up
                      >> fairly often at elementary schools.
                      >>
                      >> Best,
                      >>
                      >> Lisa Kuder
                      >>
                      >>
                      >>
                      >


                      }\(-.-)/{
                      https://sites.google.com/site/hutchingsbeeservice/announcement
                    • The Kuder Family
                      Hello, Peter - Thanks for mentioning Mr. Frankie’s upcoming book. It sounds like an excellent resource for educators and naturalists alike. As a native
                      Message 11 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
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                        Hello, Peter -

                         

                        Thanks for mentioning Mr. Frankie’s upcoming book. It sounds like an excellent resource for educators and naturalists alike. As a native Californian and bee student, I’ll be sure to buy a copy.

                         

                        It’s curious that most adults want to tidy up the outdoors so much. Often the rationale is to make areas more kid-friendly. Of course, it’s good to have some manicured areas to play ball but for free play most kids gravitate toward the wild, natural areas. They are infinitely more interesting to explore and studies show they help foster creativity. After all, faeries, dragons, ogres, and such would never be found on a perfectly mown lawn!

                         

                        Best,

                         

                        Lisa

                         

                        From: Peter Bernhardt [mailto:bernhap2@...]
                        Sent: Friday, August 22, 2014 5:08 PM
                        To: treetops5@...
                        Cc: Bee United; Gordon W. FRANKIE
                        Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Re: ground nesting bees in school yards [1 Attachment]

                         

                        Dear Lisa:

                         

                        I agree with you.  This is a situation that NAPPC needs to monitor.  Yes, these matters come up often but perhaps there's something we can do to turn this around and use it as a textbook case when it arises gain (and it always will).  Gordon Frankie has introduced children to bees in city gardens at Berkeley without a need for ambulances or lawsuits.  His book will be out in a few weeks on California bees.  His comments on this case would be valuable for all of us.

                         

                        On the one hand, parents seem perfectly happy when elementary schools introduce the children to the elements of horticulture and they seem to prefer a nicely landscaped building.  On the other hand, they want every arthropod on school grounds eradicated before their children are allowed out for recess.  You can't have a nice garden, or even a nice lawn, without resident arthropods. The parents need the education as much as their children (probably more).

                         

                        My first elementary school had a vast property that abutted the ton lake.  In good warm weather we had swarms of Japanese beetles at recess and we all played with them.  In fact, we did awful things to them.  No teacher stopped us.  There were never any complaints from parents.  

                         

                        Peter

                         

                         

                         

                        On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 3:00 PM, treetops5@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                         

                        [Attachment(s) from treetops5@... included below]

                        Kim,

                        CDC has a pictorial key to stinging Hymenoptera (attached) that might be
                        helpful for the Superintendent to have on file.

                        Also, it would be great if some of their science teachers or a group of
                        hands-on parents might consider turning this into an outdoor classroom
                        experience. Instead of killing the bees they could observe/study them safely
                        by creating a pollinator habitat around their nesting sites. Lots of
                        potential for learning there and how fun! The recent U.S. presidential
                        memorandum might even lend weight to such an argument.

                        I'd be interested to hear how things turn out, as this seems to come up
                        fairly often at elementary schools.

                        Best,

                        Lisa Kuder

                         

                      • Doug Yanega
                        On 8/22/14 1:27 PM, Jack Neff jlnatctmi@yahoo.com [beemonitoring] wrote: Solitary bees are generally non-aggressive and even if they can sting, they won t
                        Message 12 of 18 , Aug 22, 2014
                        • 0 Attachment
                          On 8/22/14 1:27 PM, Jack Neff jlnatctmi@... [beemonitoring] wrote:

                          "Solitary bees are generally non-aggressive and even if they can sting,
                          they won't sting unless you trap them them against your skin. I would
                          be a little less sanguine about halictids as many are social and tend to
                          be a little quicker on the trigger but even they do not respond in the
                          pheromone stimulated mass defensive manner of honey bees. The only real
                          danger of a sting from a solitary would be an allergic reaction and as
                          the venom of most solitaries is much simpler than that of the dreaded
                          honey bee, it is not clear if this is a real problem"

                          Speaking as someone who spent over 1000 hours watching and handling
                          halictids nesting in my driveway in New York City, yes, they can sting,
                          and if you're not allergic, you can be stung hundreds of times with no
                          ill effects. I held them in my fingers when I measured and painted them,
                          and got stung more times than I could possibly count.

                          More to the point is that I was able to produce an undergraduate thesis,
                          several peer-reviewed publications plus a book chapter, and a PhD
                          thesis, all based on observations of a suburban ground-nesting bee
                          aggregation covering only two square meters, over 5 years. What you need
                          to do is find an ambitious undergrad at UConn or some nearby school, and
                          invite them to do a thesis project studying this particular aggregation,
                          regardless of what it proves to be (bees, cicada killers, whatever).
                          They can mark off the area with tape (if the parents are worried about
                          their kids), set up a web-cam, and blog about it. Everyone wins.

                          Peace,

                          --
                          Doug Yanega Dept. of Entomology Entomology Research Museum
                          Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314 skype: dyanega
                          phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                          http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
                          "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                          is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
                        • Stoner, Kimberly
                          Hi Parker and everyone, Thanks for all the informative posts! Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8
                          Message 13 of 18 , Aug 25, 2014
                          • 0 Attachment

                            Hi Parker and everyone,

                            Thanks for all the informative posts!  Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8 schools, including “lawn care” pesticides.  No EPA registered lawn care pesticide is allowed unless there is a specific public health exemption (as is made for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example).  So, they would not be able to use an insecticide like imidacloprid unless they can demonstrate a health hazard. The superintendent of schools is one of the authorities that can determine a hazard (as well as the local health department, the state Department of Public Health, or the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).  That is perhaps why this situation at an elementary school rises to the attention of the school superintendent.

                             

                            By the way, this has made elementary schools great habitats for certain insects.  My colleague Claire Rutledge, who uses Ceceris fumipennis wasps to monitor for emerald ash borer (which we unfortunately now have in abundance in the state), finds nearly all of her Ceceris colonies on elementary school ball fields that are not being used during the summer, and which are never treated with insecticides due to the state law.

                             

                            I’ll let you know what happens.

                             

                            Kim

                             

                             

                             

                            From: Parker Gambino [mailto:parkergambino@...]
                            Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:07 AM
                            To: Stoner, Kimberly
                            Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                             

                            Kim 'n All,

                            Here's a way different angle on being well-informed.  If the bees are to be done away with, how?  The state of Connecticut has regulations about the use of chemical pesticides in public (and especially elementary) school buildings.  I believe that indoor use would be prohibited.  Now whether that extends to grounds, not sure, but perhaps worthy of investigation.  If we hypothesize it to be so, then the "how" could involve contending with a gross and expensive disfigurement of the grounds.

                            As to personal bee experience, I have observed nesting aggregations of Halictus rubicundus on grounds of at least two different public schools (I am a high school teacher) as well as at my residence, and a sting from these will definitely get your attention.   Again the most likely scenario would seem to be a bee trapped against skin by clothing.  My school also at times hosts aggregations of smaller Dialictus and Calliopsis; no one has ever made any notice of these unless I specifically pointed them out.

                            Parker

                             

                            On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM, 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                             

                            Hi bee group,

                             

                            I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.

                             

                            I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 

                             

                            A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.

                             

                            However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.

                             

                            I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, generally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.

                             

                            The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example.  A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.

                             

                            So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?

                             

                            In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.

                             

                            Thanks,

                            Kim Stoner

                            http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html

                            http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it

                             

                            The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk

                            And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn

                            http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y

                             

                             

                          • ahworkerb@aol.com
                            Perhaps it is time for a booklet on how to turn an apparent insect threat into a learning experience. Ann Harman Everyone has a photographic memory, some just
                            Message 14 of 18 , Aug 25, 2014
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Perhaps it is time for a booklet on how to turn an apparent insect threat into a learning experience. 

                              Ann Harman

                              Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film."  
                              Steven Wright


                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
                              To: Parker Gambino <parkergambino@...>; beemonitoring <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                              Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 9:31 am
                              Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                               
                              Hi Parker and everyone,
                              Thanks for all the informative posts!  Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8 schools, including “lawn care” pesticides.  No EPA registered lawn care pesticide is allowed unless there is a specific public health exemption (as is made for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example).  So, they would not be able to use an insecticide like imidacloprid unless they can demonstrate a health hazard. The superintendent of schools is one of the authorities that can determine a hazard (as well as the local health department, the state Department of Public Health, or the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).  That is perhaps why this situation at an elementary school rises to the attention of the school superintendent.
                               
                              By the way, this has made elementary schools great habitats for certain insects.  My colleague Claire Rutledge, who uses Ceceris fumipennis wasps to monitor for emerald ash borer (which we unfortunately now have in abundance in the state), finds nearly all of her Ceceris colonies on elementary school ball fields that are not being used during the summer, and which are never treated with insecticides due to the state law.
                               
                              I’ll let you know what happens.
                               
                              Kim
                               
                               
                               
                              From: Parker Gambino [mailto:parkergambino@...]
                              Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:07 AM
                              To: Stoner, Kimberly
                              Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards
                               
                              Kim 'n All,
                              Here's a way different angle on being well-informed.  If the bees are to be done away with, how?  The state of Connecticut has regulations about the use of chemical pesticides in public (and especially elementary) school buildings.  I believe that indoor use would be prohibited.  Now whether that extends to grounds, not sure, but perhaps worthy of investigation.  If we hypothesize it to be so, then the "how" could involve contending with a gross and expensive disfigurement of the grounds.
                              As to personal bee experience, I have observed nesting aggregations of Halictus rubicundus on grounds of at least two different public schools (I am a high school teacher) as well as at my residence, and a sting from these will definitely get your attention.   Again the most likely scenario would seem to be a bee trapped against skin by clothing.  My school also at times hosts aggregations of smaller Dialictus and Calliopsis; no one has ever made any notice of these unless I specifically pointed them out.
                              Parker
                               
                              On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM, 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                               
                              Hi bee group,
                               
                              I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
                               
                              I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 
                               
                              A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.
                               
                              However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.
                               
                              I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, generally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.
                               
                              The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example.  A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.
                               
                              So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
                               
                              In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.
                               
                              Thanks,
                              Kim Stoner
                               
                              And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
                               
                               
                            • David Inouye
                              Xerces Society might be interested in doing something like that. At 07:53 AM 8/25/2014, ahworkerb@aol.com AHworkerB@aol.com [beemonitoring] wrote: Perhaps it
                              Message 15 of 18 , Aug 25, 2014
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Xerces Society might be interested in doing something like that.

                                At 07:53 AM 8/25/2014, 'ahworkerb@...' AHworkerB@... [beemonitoring] wrote:
                                 

                                Perhaps it is time for a booklet on how to turn an apparent insect threat into a learning experience. 

                                Ann Harman

                                Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film." 
                                Steven Wright


                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
                                To: Parker Gambino <parkergambino@...>; beemonitoring <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                                Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 9:31 am
                                Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                                 
                                Hi Parker and everyone,
                                Thanks for all the informative posts!  Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8 schools, including “lawn care” pesticides.  No EPA registered lawn care pesticide is allowed unless there is a specific public health exemption (as is made for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example).  So, they would not be able to use an insecticide like imidacloprid unless they can demonstrate a health hazard. The superintendent of schools is one of the authorities that can determine a hazard (as well as the local health department, the state Department of Public Health, or the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).  That is perhaps why this situation at an elementary school rises to the attention of the school superintendent.
                                 
                                By the way, this has made elementary schools great habitats for certain insects.  My colleague Claire Rutledge, who uses Ceceris fumipennis wasps to monitor for emerald ash borer (which we unfortunately now have in abundance in the state), finds nearly all of her Ceceris colonies on elementary school ball fields that are not being used during the summer, and which are never treated with insecticides due to the state law.
                                 
                                I’ll let you know what happens.
                                 
                                Kim
                                 
                                 
                                 
                                From: Parker Gambino [mailto:parkergambino@...]
                                Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:07 AM
                                To: Stoner, Kimberly
                                Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards
                                 
                                Kim 'n All,
                                Here's a way different angle on being well-informed.  If the bees are to be done away with, how?  The state of Connecticut has regulations about the use of chemical pesticides in public (and especially elementary) school buildings.  I believe that indoor use would be prohibited.  Now whether that extends to grounds, not sure, but perhaps worthy of investigation.  If we hypothesize it to be so, then the "how" could involve contending with a gross and expensive disfigurement of the grounds.
                                As to personal bee experience, I have observed nesting aggregations of Halictus rubicundus on grounds of at least two different public schools (I am a high school teacher) as well as at my residence, and a sting from these will definitely get your attention.   Again the most likely scenario would seem to be a bee trapped against skin by clothing.  My school also at times hosts aggregations of smaller Dialictus and Calliopsis; no one has ever made any notice of these unless I specifically pointed them out.
                                Parker
                                 
                                On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM, 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                 
                                Hi bee group,
                                 
                                I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
                                 
                                I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 
                                 
                                A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there aree some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.
                                 
                                However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.
                                 
                                I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, geenerally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.
                                 
                                The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatuss is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example. A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.
                                 
                                So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
                                 
                                In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.
                                 
                                Thanks,
                                Kim Stoner
                                http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html
                                http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it
                                 
                                The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk
                                And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
                                http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y
                                 
                                 
                              • Peter Bernhardt
                                Dear Ann: As a matter of fact, such a book will be released in a few weeks. Gordon Frankie and his associates have written a book on native bees in
                                Message 16 of 18 , Aug 25, 2014
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Dear Ann:

                                  As a matter of fact, such a book will be released in a few weeks.  Gordon Frankie and his associates have written a book on native bees in California.  They are emphasizing the bees that come into cities and suburbia.  It seems to me that the advice in the book for Californians will apply to people in other parts of the country.  It's a very, very attractive book and should appeal to lots of school libraries.  Perhaps it should be advertised on the NAPPC web site?

                                  Peter


                                  On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM, 'ahworkerb@...' AHworkerB@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                   

                                  Perhaps it is time for a booklet on how to turn an apparent insect threat into a learning experience. 


                                  Ann Harman

                                  Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film."  
                                  Steven Wright


                                  -----Original Message-----
                                  From: 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
                                  To: Parker Gambino <parkergambino@...>; beemonitoring <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                                  Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 9:31 am
                                  Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                                   
                                  Hi Parker and everyone,
                                  Thanks for all the informative posts!  Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8 schools, including “lawn care” pesticides.  No EPA registered lawn care pesticide is allowed unless there is a specific public health exemption (as is made for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example).  So, they would not be able to use an insecticide like imidacloprid unless they can demonstrate a health hazard. The superintendent of schools is one of the authorities that can determine a hazard (as well as the local health department, the state Department of Public Health, or the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).  That is perhaps why this situation at an elementary school rises to the attention of the school superintendent.
                                   
                                  By the way, this has made elementary schools great habitats for certain insects.  My colleague Claire Rutledge, who uses Ceceris fumipennis wasps to monitor for emerald ash borer (which we unfortunately now have in abundance in the state), finds nearly all of her Ceceris colonies on elementary school ball fields that are not being used during the summer, and which are never treated with insecticides due to the state law.
                                   
                                  I’ll let you know what happens.
                                   
                                  Kim
                                   
                                   
                                   
                                  From: Parker Gambino [mailto:parkergambino@...]
                                  Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:07 AM
                                  To: Stoner, Kimberly
                                  Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards
                                   
                                  Kim 'n All,
                                  Here's a way different angle on being well-informed.  If the bees are to be done away with, how?  The state of Connecticut has regulations about the use of chemical pesticides in public (and especially elementary) school buildings.  I believe that indoor use would be prohibited.  Now whether that extends to grounds, not sure, but perhaps worthy of investigation.  If we hypothesize it to be so, then the "how" could involve contending with a gross and expensive disfigurement of the grounds.
                                  As to personal bee experience, I have observed nesting aggregations of Halictus rubicundus on grounds of at least two different public schools (I am a high school teacher) as well as at my residence, and a sting from these will definitely get your attention.   Again the most likely scenario would seem to be a bee trapped against skin by clothing.  My school also at times hosts aggregations of smaller Dialictus and Calliopsis; no one has ever made any notice of these unless I specifically pointed them out.
                                  Parker
                                   
                                  On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM, 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                   
                                  Hi bee group,
                                   
                                  I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
                                   
                                  I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 
                                   
                                  A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.
                                   
                                  However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.
                                   
                                  I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, generally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.
                                   
                                  The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example.  A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.
                                   
                                  So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
                                   
                                  In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.
                                   
                                  Thanks,
                                  Kim Stoner
                                   
                                  And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
                                   
                                   


                                • ahworkerb@aol.com
                                  If something is good it needs to be advertised Ann Harman The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him. Russell Baker ...
                                  Message 17 of 18 , Aug 25, 2014
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    If something is good it needs to be advertised
                                    Ann Harman

                                    The goal of all inanimate objects is to resist man and ultimately defeat him.      Russell Baker


                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: Peter Bernhardt <bernhap2@...>
                                    To: ahworkerb@... <AHworkerB@...>
                                    Cc: Stoner, Kimberly <Kimberly.Stoner@...>; parkergambino <parkergambino@...>; Bee United <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 10:10 am
                                    Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                                    Dear Ann:

                                    As a matter of fact, such a book will be released in a few weeks.  Gordon Frankie and his associates have written a book on native bees in California.  They are emphasizing the bees that come into cities and suburbia.  It seems to me that the advice in the book for Californians will apply to people in other parts of the country.  It's a very, very attractive book and should appeal to lots of school libraries.  Perhaps it should be advertised on the NAPPC web site?

                                    Peter


                                    On Mon, Aug 25, 2014 at 8:53 AM, 'ahworkerb@...' AHworkerB@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                     
                                    Perhaps it is time for a booklet on how to turn an apparent insect threat into a learning experience. 

                                    Ann Harman

                                    Everyone has a photographic memory, some just don’t have film."  
                                    Steven Wright


                                    -----Original Message-----
                                    From: 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
                                    To: Parker Gambino <parkergambino@...>; beemonitoring <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                                    Sent: Mon, Aug 25, 2014 9:31 am
                                    Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                                     
                                    Hi Parker and everyone,
                                    Thanks for all the informative posts!  Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8 schools, including “lawn care” pesticides.  No EPA registered lawn care pesticide is allowed unless there is a specific public health exemption (as is made for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example).  So, they would not be able to use an insecticide like imidacloprid unless they can demonstrate a health hazard. The superintendent of schools is one of the authorities that can determine a hazard (as well as the local health department, the state Department of Public Health, or the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).  That is perhaps why this situation at an elementary school rises to the attention of the school superintendent.
                                     
                                    By the way, this has made elementary schools great habitats for certain insects.  My colleague Claire Rutledge, who uses Ceceris fumipennis wasps to monitor for emerald ash borer (which we unfortunately now have in abundance in the state), finds nearly all of her Ceceris colonies on elementary school ball fields that are not being used during the summer, and which are never treated with insecticides due to the state law.
                                     
                                    I’ll let you know what happens.
                                     
                                    Kim
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                    From: Parker Gambino [mailto:parkergambino@...]
                                    Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:07 AM
                                    To: Stoner, Kimberly
                                    Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards
                                     
                                    Kim 'n All,
                                    Here's a way different angle on being well-informed.  If the bees are to be done away with, how?  The state of Connecticut has regulations about the use of chemical pesticides in public (and especially elementary) school buildings.  I believe that indoor use would be prohibited.  Now whether that extends to grounds, not sure, but perhaps worthy of investigation.  If we hypothesize it to be so, then the "how" could involve contending with a gross and expensive disfigurement of the grounds.
                                    As to personal bee experience, I have observed nesting aggregations of Halictus rubicundus on grounds of at least two different public schools (I am a high school teacher) as well as at my residence, and a sting from these will definitely get your attention.   Again the most likely scenario would seem to be a bee trapped against skin by clothing.  My school also at times hosts aggregations of smaller Dialictus and Calliopsis; no one has ever made any notice of these unless I specifically pointed them out.
                                    Parker
                                     
                                    On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM, 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                                     
                                    Hi bee group,
                                     
                                    I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.
                                     
                                    I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 
                                     
                                    A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.
                                     
                                    However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.
                                     
                                    I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, generally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.
                                     
                                    The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example.  A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.
                                     
                                    So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?
                                     
                                    In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.
                                     
                                    Thanks,
                                    Kim Stoner
                                     
                                    And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn
                                     
                                     

                                  • KA
                                    Hey,Kim, You might even get the principal to register the school as a Bee Friendly School ...which requires 6% of the landscape offer bee food plants.....btw
                                    Message 18 of 18 , Aug 25, 2014
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      Hey,Kim,

                                      You might even get the principal to register the school as a 'Bee Friendly School"...which requires 6% of the landscape offer bee food plants.....btw I still have lots of bee I.d.stakes( based on Xerces' course) that students place in the ground next to plants where they observe the relative bee shape to help students learn the value of host plants.

                                      GoodLuck for the bees' sake!

                                      Kathy 


                                      Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE Smartphone



                                      -------- Original message --------
                                      From: "'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring]" <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com>
                                      Date: 08/25/2014 6:29 AM (GMT-08:00)
                                      To: Parker Gambino <parkergambino@...>,beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                                      Subject: RE: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards


                                       

                                      Hi Parker and everyone,

                                      Thanks for all the informative posts!  Parker is correct that the state of CT has regulations about the use of pesticides at K-8 schools, including “lawn care” pesticides.  No EPA registered lawn care pesticide is allowed unless there is a specific public health exemption (as is made for deer ticks that carry Lyme disease, for example).  So, they would not be able to use an insecticide like imidacloprid unless they can demonstrate a health hazard. The superintendent of schools is one of the authorities that can determine a hazard (as well as the local health department, the state Department of Public Health, or the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection).  That is perhaps why this situation at an elementary school rises to the attention of the school superintendent.

                                       

                                      By the way, this has made elementary schools great habitats for certain insects.  My colleague Claire Rutledge, who uses Ceceris fumipennis wasps to monitor for emerald ash borer (which we unfortunately now have in abundance in the state), finds nearly all of her Ceceris colonies on elementary school ball fields that are not being used during the summer, and which are never treated with insecticides due to the state law.

                                       

                                      I’ll let you know what happens.

                                       

                                      Kim

                                       

                                       

                                       

                                      From: Parker Gambino [mailto:parkergambino@...]
                                      Sent: Saturday, August 23, 2014 10:07 AM
                                      To: Stoner, Kimberly
                                      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] ground nesting bees in school yards

                                       

                                      Kim 'n All,

                                      Here's a way different angle on being well-informed.  If the bees are to be done away with, how?  The state of Connecticut has regulations about the use of chemical pesticides in public (and especially elementary) school buildings.  I believe that indoor use would be prohibited.  Now whether that extends to grounds, not sure, but perhaps worthy of investigation.  If we hypothesize it to be so, then the "how" could involve contending with a gross and expensive disfigurement of the grounds.

                                      As to personal bee experience, I have observed nesting aggregations of Halictus rubicundus on grounds of at least two different public schools (I am a high school teacher) as well as at my residence, and a sting from these will definitely get your attention.   Again the most likely scenario would seem to be a bee trapped against skin by clothing.  My school also at times hosts aggregations of smaller Dialictus and Calliopsis; no one has ever made any notice of these unless I specifically pointed them out.

                                      Parker

                                       

                                      On Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 2:24 PM, 'Stoner, Kimberly' Kimberly.Stoner@... [beemonitoring] <beemonitoring-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                                       

                                      Hi bee group,

                                       

                                      I am going to a meeting on Monday with the Superintendent of Schools and the Operations manager for a town school district in Connecticut.  An elementary school in this district has a population of ground nesting bees.  Apparently a petition has circulated among adults in the district with at least 160 signatures demanding that the school eliminate the bees.

                                       

                                      I have emailed the Superintendent (who is new to the district, so arrived with this already happening) and offered to identify the bees if anyone has any specimens.  Apparently no one has any. 

                                       

                                      A lot of the details are not clear – when during the year the bees were active (there are some indications that it was last spring), and whether anyone was actually stung.  We will see in the meeting on Monday whether anybody has any useful information.

                                       

                                      However, I would like to go into the meeting reasonably well-prepared, if possible.

                                       

                                      I know that the most common aggregations of ground nesting bees that I see here in residential areas are various species of Colletes – inaequalis and thoracicus, generally.  I have often told people that they are very unlikely to sting.  Somewhere I found a quote from Suzanne Batra saying they don’t sting unless you pick them up and squeeze them.  But, elementary school kids might actually pick them up and squeeze them, I suppose.

                                       

                                      The other likely possibilities I think would be andrenids and halictids.  I have read that some andrenids are unable to sting humans – their stinging apparatus is insufficiently developed. I know that sweat bees do sting occasionally – when they get trapped in the crook of your elbow, for example.  A mild sting, but maybe enough to get a parent excited about the hazard.

                                       

                                      So here is the question:  Does anyone have actual scientific documentation of what ground nesting bees are able to sting humans and which are not?

                                       

                                      In researching this question, I found lots of internet links to the Sabin School in Portland (where Mace Vaughn’s daughter goes to school), where kids play with the andrenid bees nesting in the school yard, and have adopted the “tickle bees” as the school mascot.  Someone must have researched these bees to determine that they can not sting before encouraging the kids to play with them.  It is a cool story, I’ll provide links below.

                                       

                                      Thanks,

                                      Kim Stoner

                                      http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/05/portlands_sabin_schoolyard_abu.html

                                      http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/211358-68021-its-the-beess-needs-and-sabin-has-it

                                       

                                      The PTA http://www.sabinpta.com/#!tickle-bee/c21tk

                                      And here’s the video! With a great narration by Mace Vaughn

                                      http://www.katu.com/familymatters/go_green/TICKLE-BEES-255872371.html?tab=video&c=y

                                       

                                       

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