All the Rage

Honey bee rain boot from Chooka

In the past few years I have noticed what I like to call the ‘owl phenomenon.’  Whether it is fashion, jewelry, stationary, kitchen gadgets, china figurines, tote bags and host of other items, owls are showing up everywhere. Keeping in … Continue reading

BIP Survey Winner

Talking bees in Santa Cruz County

The Bee Informed Partnership (BIP) was able to draw in 5,543 U.S. beekeepers to our latest 2011/2012 winter loss survey. This number of respondents represents an estimated 20% of beekeepers in the U.S. who manage over 14.6% of the country’s … Continue reading

2012 Smithsonian Folklife Festival

Andrew Ulsamer of the USDA BRL talks to a student about the observation hive. Photo Credit:

The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is an annual festival held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. that celebrates cultural diversity and traditions. The USDA Bee Research Lab was asked to participate this year as part of the theme “Campus and … Continue reading

Velvet Ants (Mutillidae)

On a recent adventure into the Ishi Wilderness…( I stumbled onto my second Velvet Ant (Mutillidae) in California. This one was similar to the first species I saw. There are a few images below that show the first one I … Continue reading