SDNB Meeting Notes.
This is the Sonoran Desert Native Bees archive for meeting notes. Everything that is discussed in the meeting are noted and posted below.
Team members Maddie Ostwald, Sarah Starkebaum, and Anne Ellis met at the Gecko Espresso in Gold Canyon from 8 to 9:45 am. Coffee and chai were enjoyed by all.
What we learned at the Sept 22 Farmers Market
Tom was kind enough to provide a summary list of items needed for booth exhibits at Farmers and Artisan Markets, attached at the end of these notes. Tom and Anne attended the Sept 22 Farmers Market and felt that the warm day kept foot traffic to an unacceptably low level. In the future we will participate in these events only during the cooler months.
We also need to decide on a name, if “Native Bees AZ” is not suitable – and a great logo would be nice. Tom is considering ideas on that, and Maddie has colleagues at ASU who are scientific illustrators. She will ask them to see whether there is any interest in sharing a rendering of a bee for our logo. Nice!
Discussion of the draft trifold brochure
Sarah provided a nice concept for a trifold brochure, however in consideration of cost, the brochure will be reformatted as a two-sided rack card. (Ray’s Printing quoted rack cards at $180 per thousand; OfficeMax quoted trifolds at $34.50 per hundred.) The group felt that there is sufficient room on the two rack card panels to communicate the desired information as well as the new logo.
Google form and data protocol update
Maddie has made great progress in creating a Google form for data collection as well as instructions on how to use it. The primary research topic is bees’ water use in the habitat, and the form has suggestions on how to create beautiful little water features for bees (easy!). There is also an initial form for participants to describe their yard or chosen location’s habitat and their contact information such as email. Maddie will share these documents when she has them a little more complete, and she is working on complete web-based training for how to gather data as well as a self-administered “quiz” so people can test their knowledge.
We have not been able to develop a simple way to gather participants’ plant and flower photos in the data form, so for now we will ask that they use iNaturalist to share those. We still need a way to incorporate only plants that have been observed as bee habitat or food.
We will also need to “train” participants on the difference between honeybees and solitary native bees; Maddie will get in touch with her contact at the Xerces Society to see if we can use their exceptional materials as part of our training.
At the Sept 22 Market, we met artisan woodworker Mike Herrera, who made a bee block for us out of native alligator juniper with a stenciled bee on the side. The group decided that a bee block like this, with more holes (this one had just six) could possibly sell for $20-30. Anne will get back to Mike to see if he can produce these for about $15-20 so as to leave a small profit margin.
Anne also has a small bee shanty made from giant cane reed cut to 6” sections, strapped together with wire ties and incorporating a metal roof made from a recycled soda or beer can. The most difficult part of this version is cutting and cleaning the reeds, which are about 3-5 feet to start. There’s a lot of work to cleaning and preparing these. Otherwise, easy.
Maddie also mentioned that there is a group at ASU with a shared interest of social insects, and that some of these researchers may be interested in making presentations or otherwise volunteering at our outreach activities. Fantastic news!
Finally – we need to determine the dates and times:
1: For the next meeting, which we plan to hold at ASU, ISTB-1 (Interdisciplinary Science and Technology Building – 1). The plan for this meeting is to put together our outreach and education program, and to get an idea of the materials we’ll need to deliver it.
2: For our visit to Dr. Nico Franz and the Hasbrouck Insect Collection. We have an invitation for October 19, but it looks like nobody will be able to make it on that date.