Of the 4,000 bee species that occur in North America, more than 300 are native to Florida — including 29 endemic species. Because Florida has a relatively mild and short winter, native bees can be observed even in the chilliest months throughout much of the state. In this webinar, you are taken on a photographic journey of some of the bees that can be observed in Florida between November and March, as well as the plants they need to survive. You also learn how you can make your garden bee-friendly for both winter and early spring bees.
Laura Langlois Zurro is a community scientist and conservation photographer. She earned a degree in environmental studies and communications from Florida International University. A passionate advocate for Florida’s native bee species, she devotes much of her time to promoting bees locally in person, and statewide, nationally and internationally through social media. Her photos have been published in several books, in the Entomological Society of America World of Insects Calendar, and in print and internet articles.
In 2018, she founded the Florida Native Bees Facebook group, which has grown to almost 4,000 members. It has become a place to connect native bee researchers and taxonomists with everyone from the newest inductees into the world of native bees to those who are looking to deepen their knowledge. As the group grew, she saw so much interest, yet a lack of places for the general public to learn about these amazing and beautiful insects, so she decided to leverage yet another large social network, iNaturalist, which led to the creation of the Florida Native Bees iNaturalist Community Science Project. The project automatically pools all native bee observations added to iNaturalist within Florida boundaries and provides a quick and easily accessible means to view which bees are being observed across the state.
Laura can be found most days in her garden or local protected areas with her camera in hand, documenting bee behavior through observations, photos and videos to create visual stories that will inspire awareness about native bees.