The Long-Lost Blue Bee Of Florida Rediscovered

Florida’s ultra-rare blue Calamintha bee, long thought lost, was discovered by researchers in the Lake Wales Ridge in central Florida.

The blue Calamintha is notorious for its habit of bobbing its head back and forth when it is pollinating. It then catches the pollen on its head and transfers it to its stomach.

Scientists weren’t sure the bee still existed. The plant upon which the bee depends for survival, the Calamintha ashei, is endangered in Florida. The bee has only been recorded in four locations totaling just 16 square miles within Central Florida’s Lake Wales Ridge. This spring, researchers rediscovered the heretofore unstudied bee.

“Having this bee in more abundance than what we expected is really encouraging for its survival— that it can survive in the long run,” explained Dr. Chase Kimmel, a postdoctoral associate at the University of Florida who rediscovered the bee.

On March 9, Kimmel and a volunteer went to put out traps to see if they could find the bees. That’s when “we saw a blue bee bopping its head,” Kimmel said. They caught it and examined it and saw that it met all the qualifications for the ultra-rare blue Calamintha bee.

Credits: Ivone de Bem Oliveira.JPG – Dr. Chase Kimmel poses with Florida’s ultra-rare Calamintha bee in central Florida in spring 2020. (Courtesy: Dr. Chase Kimmel)

Currently the bee does not have any protection status. It is considered a “species of greatest conservation need,” but has neither state nor federal protection. The main host plant that the bee utilizes, Calamintha ashei, is a state threatened species. In 2015, there was a petition to have the bee included, but it still lacks the status as there is not enough known about it for it to qualify for the endangered species list.

According to Kimmel, it is too early to know if the bee will be registered on the endangered species list because more research needs to be done. There’s still much to learn about the blue Calamintha bee. Not much is known about the bee’s biology. Does it prefer sun or shade? Such information is what Kimmel’s team will be looking into.

Credits: Chase Kimmel.JPG – A photo of Florida’s ultra-rare Calamintha bee, as seen while being observed by researchers in central Florida in spring 2020. (Courtesy: Dr. Chase Kimmel)

Kimmel added that “in an ideal world, it would be great to look at how management choices impact the plant and the population of this bee.” For example, the Florida Scrub-Jays are an endangered species, and as such, conservationists and governments have tried to protect them, which includes managing wildlife to enable them to flourish.

However, these management methods, which include burning vegetation including the flowers that support the blue Calamintha bees, could be damaging to the bee population, Kimmel explained. “Is the management for that bird the same as the management for this bee?” he poses. Other questions include how quickly does a bee return to an area that’s been burned, and how quickly does a plant regenerate to have the blossoms to support that bee.

The ongoing research is funded by a Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission grant through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This research falls under the grant’s qualifications to conserve important wildlife habitat and/or preventing species extinctions. “There was a lack of scientific information regarding the occurrence and life history of the bee[, and more] information was needed to make an informed determination regarding the classification status for this species under the Endangered Species Act,” according to a spokesperson at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“I haven’t found the bee in a couple of weeks,” Kimmel said, adding “I’m coming up a bit short right now.” He explains this is probably because “the season is wrapping up right now.” Finding the bee in early March as he had, he explained, was a week before anyone had ever seen it based on past insect specimens. He posits that it was because “it was a very early spring this year— it was very dry.”

According to the Southeast Regional Climate Center’s data, this March was the second warmest start to spring in Orlando, and third-warmest start for Tampa— two cities near Lake Wales Ridge.

Overall, “there are good signs the bee can recover,” according to Kimmel, provided that the bee can be studied and conserved. “Having this bee in more abundance than what we expected is really encouraging for its survival— that it can survive in the long run.”

The Blue Calamintha Bee

Heart Soothing Stories That Will Make You Think Someone Has Cut Onions

We often have the chance to meet good-hearted people or we encounter the sweetest moments with someone or someone who does a very good deed to us. Or just the cases of humans being just humans might inspire and elevate our spirits. Thus is this collection Today we have chosen for you all some of the most emotional cases of people who run into the sweetest situations from others or they did it themselves.

Bellow, you have all that you need to soothe your heart. I advise every one of you to grab a tissue because someone is going to cut some onions right at night. Yes us Earthwonders we are cutting onions today!

Don’t forget to let us know what do you think about this collection and follow us for more upcoming content.

1. For those with golden heart

KikkakPattyWak

My parents split when I was in first grade. My mom met my step-dad, mark when I was in second grade. We moved in with him by the time I was in 3rd we moved into his house. He treated my siblings and me as his own since day 1. He even would watch Gilmore Girls with me and my sister every afternoon. After my mom died when I was 16, Mark didn’t make us go live with our biological dad. He continued raising us as his own. He started out as my mom’s boyfriend and became my dad, my best friend, my go-to for advice.

Mark ended up working 3 jobs while having heart failure, asthma, and diabetes. He did everything he could to provide for my sister and me. He passed away 6 days before I graduated college in 2016. It’s been a few years but I still have trouble on Father’s Day. He could have ditched us when our mom died and we didn’t have enough income. But he didn’t. He was there fighting to put food on the table. Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers who fight for their children.

2. In the name of his angel brother.

Molly_Schiller_

3. This Little Fella After Winning First Place In A Bike Tournament

Zumcddo

4. Important Memories On Google Maps

KarenBu32946258

5. I Am Finally Cancer Free! Really Excited To Live Life To The Fullest And Have Fun Again

BeachMaster2454

6. He Has Cerebral Palsy, Mitochondrial Disease, And Was In Special Education Until The 7th Grade. He Just Graduated With His Aa And Highest Honors. Pride Is An Understatement

BumpoSplat

He just received a full-ride scholarship to the school of his dreams. My son is going to rock the world as a lawyer!

 

7. At The Salt Lake City Farmer’s Market A Few Years Back

pixamour

8. My Favorite Graduation Photo. This Woman At My Campus’ Subway Kept Me Fed For 4 Years, And When I Was Low On Money, She Came Through For Me

izeezusizeezus

9. Balloon Seller’s Kind Gesture

shannonhar95

10. This Is The Day Our Daughter Was Declared In Remission From Stage 2 Liver Cancer

docungurus

11. A Year Ago I Was Depressed And Suicidal. Today Things Have Gotten Better

NEDudcat603

12. When My Grandad Passed Away My Grandmother (She Is 85) Started Learning Painting To Distract Herself. After A Year She Gave Me This Painting

s4ymyname

13. Best Neighbours

conniebliff

14. Jimmy Carter an ex USA president

15. My Best Bud And I Cleaned Up A Ton Of Trash Today On Our Day Off

Daniel_Toben

16. I Just Found Out That My Neighbors Tell Their Dog I’m Outside When They Want Him To Hurry Up And Get Out The Door. This Is Him Waiting For A Treat From Me

powaqua

17. Had The European Championship For Wheelchair Basketball. Took The Bronze Medal, And A Ticket To The World Championships In Japan Next Year

nadav5498


Keep working hard lads, you’ll reach good places.

18. Don’t really have anyone to celebrate with, so I thought I’d share with you guys. I’m one year sober!

trubexio

19. Random Girl At Farmer’s Market Seduces My Partner In Front Of My Very Eyes

thelasttrashbender

20. In France, Peyo, A Beautiful 15-Year-Old Stallion, Often Comes To Comfort And Soothe Terminally Ill Patients At The Techer Hospital In Calais

sunhistory

The horse always chooses which patient he wants to see, kicking his hoof outside the door.

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