Bee Project in Costa Rica - UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab

Posted June 10, 2017

The Bee Project in Costa Rica

Centris aethyctera visiting Securidaca sylvestris.

> For more than a decade, we have collected information on native ornamental plants in Cañas, Bagaces and Liberia in the northwest of Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica and have identified about 100 species that attract native bees, more than half which are native to Guanacaste or Costa Rica. Of these, 30 are present in nearby wilderness areas. Only limited data from bees has been collected to date, however, preliminary results suggest that a comparable number of bees are visiting plant species in urban and wild areas.

This unique composition of plants Ornamental in the urban landscape offers an important opportunity to explore the potential of urban habitat gardens to protect and preserve the decline of native bee populations. Similar studies conducted in the US, where more than 90 percent of urban gardens are made up of non-native ornamental plants, have documented a surprisingly high number of visits by native bees in the gardens with the correct resources of flowers that are " Bee sexy ". This proposal will investigate the ability of NW urban Costa Rica to serve as a refuge for various species of native bees, the impacts of using high levels of native plant species in urban gardens and the potential implications for habitats constructed in other tropical urban areas and

Workers of Nannotrigone perilampoides guarding their nest entrance.

Luis Sandoval collecting bees with an extendable net!