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Latest News from the Bug Blog

Got 'em!

Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, foraging in manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

"Got 'em!" That's the message we've all been waiting for. Several of us bumble bee enthusiasts--Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, photographers Allan Jones and Gary Zamzow of Davis, and yours truly--have...

Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, foraging in manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)
Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, foraging in manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, foraging in manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, takes flight over a manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)
Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, takes flight over a manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

Bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus, takes flight over a manzanita on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

An early Bombus sighting! Photographer Allan Jones of Davis grabbed this shot of a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, in manzanitas on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)
An early Bombus sighting! Photographer Allan Jones of Davis grabbed this shot of a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, in manzanitas on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

An early Bombus sighting! Photographer Allan Jones of Davis grabbed this shot of a yellow-faced bumble bee, Bombus vosnesenskii, in manzanitas on Feb. 12. (Photo by Allan Jones)

Posted on Friday, February 12, 2016 at 6:16 PM

How Many Overwintering Monarchs in California?

Monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

There's good news and not-so-good news about the Western Monarch Thanksgiving Count in California. Last December the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation released preliminary figures. Now they've announced the final tally: almost 272,000...

Monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch butterfly feeding on milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch and a honey bee sharing a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Monarch and a honey bee sharing a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Monarch and a honey bee sharing a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A male monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A male monarch on a Mexican sunflower, Tithonia. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at 5:52 PM

Real Reason for Flowers? It's All About Sex

Entomologist Stephen Buchmann talks about the nests of carpenter bees at The Bee Course, an annual summer workshop in Arizona sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History.  (Photo courtesy of Robbin Thorp)

You could say that noted entomologist/author Stephen Buchmann has a thing for buds, bees, beetles and butterflies...buds that burst into flowers, and bugs that burst into pollinators. The UC Davis-trained entomologist, author of the newly published...

Entomologist Stephen Buchmann talks about the nests of carpenter bees at The Bee Course, an annual summer workshop in Arizona sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History.  (Photo courtesy of Robbin Thorp)
Entomologist Stephen Buchmann talks about the nests of carpenter bees at The Bee Course, an annual summer workshop in Arizona sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy of Robbin Thorp)

Entomologist Stephen Buchmann talks about the nests of carpenter bees at The Bee Course, an annual summer workshop in Arizona sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History. (Photo courtesy of Robbin Thorp)

Posted on Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at 5:24 PM

Bee My Valentine

Honey bee foraging on flowering quince. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Bee my valentine. There's something about a honey bee foraging on a flowering quince that makes you long for Valentine's Day and the end of winter. Flowering quince (Chaenomeles sp.) is one of the first flowers of the year to bloom. And bloom it...

Honey bee foraging on flowering quince. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee foraging on flowering quince. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee foraging on flowering quince. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Full speed ahead--A pollen-laden honey bee heads for another quince blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Full speed ahead--A pollen-laden honey bee heads for another quince blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Full speed ahead--A pollen-laden honey bee heads for another quince blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee adjusting her load. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee adjusting her load. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Honey bee adjusting her load. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The entrance: a honey bee enters a quince blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The entrance: a honey bee enters a quince blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

The entrance: a honey bee enters a quince blossom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 5:17 PM

Good Day, Mourning Cloak

A mourning cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, as photographed Feb. 6, 2016 in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you go looking for a bumble bee, you might find a butterfly. And vice versa. The UC Davis Arboretum last Saturday (Feb. 6), was just starting to "get its spring on." We spotted a few honey bees and syrphid flies foraging on daphne (Daphne...

A mourning cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, as photographed Feb. 6, 2016 in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A mourning cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, as photographed Feb. 6, 2016 in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A mourning cloak, Nymphalis antiopa, as photographed Feb. 6, 2016 in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mourning cloak touches down Feb. 6, 2016 on a butterfly bush, Buddleia
Mourning cloak touches down Feb. 6, 2016 on a butterfly bush, Buddleia "Morning Mist," in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Mourning cloak touches down Feb. 6, 2016 on a butterfly bush, Buddleia "Morning Mist," in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden and Gazebo, UC Davis Arboretum. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Posted on Monday, February 8, 2016 at 2:57 PM

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