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Clear Lake Chapter

Chapter Meeting: Nutritional Ecology of Honey Bees in a Changing Landscape

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Dr. Juliana Rangel will first cover basic information about the building blocks of honey bee nutrition, and then go into her work using the geometric framework for nutritional ecology. We finish by testing our results on the preferred macronutrient ratio by bees when colonies are infected with a virus (a type of social immunity).

About the Speaker

Born in Colombia, Juliana obtained a B.S. in Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution in 2004 from the University of California, San Diego. In 2010 she obtained a Ph. D. in Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. She was a National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellow from 2010 to 2013 at North Carolina State University. In January 2013, Juliana became Assistant Professor of Apiculture in the Department of Entomology at Texas A&M University, and Associate Professor in 2018. Her research program focuses on the biological and environmental factors that affect the reproductive quality of honey bee queens and drones, the behavioral ecology and population genetics of unmanaged honey bees, and the quality and diversity of honey bee nutrition. She is an active member of the Texas Beekeepers Association and has spoken to dozens of beekeeping associations across the USA and internationally. She teaches the courses Honey Bee Biology, Introduction to Beekeeping, and Professional Grant and Contract Writing.

Meetings are open to members and non-members. If you would like to become a member, you may join online. For more information about the Native Plant Society of Texas and the benefits of membership please visit: www.npsot.org.

Hosted by Environmental Institute of Houston, University of Houston-Clear Lake

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**ARCHIVED POST AUTHOR: debbiebush

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About the Region

New Braunfels, the location of our Fall 2024 Symposium, straddles both the Edwards Plateau Ecoregion and the Blackland Prairie ecoregion. Interstate 35 divides the city of New Braunfels; its path through the city closely parallels the boundary of these two ecoregions, with the Edwards Plateau on the west side and the Blackland Prairies region to the east. The Edwards Plateau area is also called the Hill Country; however, this general term covers a much larger area extending farther north. Spring-fed creeks are found throughout the region; deep limestone canyons, rivers, and lakes (reservoirs) are common. Ashe juniper is perhaps the most common woody species found throughout the region. Additional woody species include various species of oak, with live oak (Quercus fusiformis) being the most common. Sycamores (Platanus occidentalis) and bald cypress (Taxodium distichum) border waterways. This area is well known for its spring wildflower displays, though they may be viewed in spring, late summer, and fall, as well. According to Texas Parks and Wildlife, average annual rainfall in the Edwards Plateau ranges from 15 to 34 inches.

The Blackland Prairie extends from the Red River south to San Antonio, bordered on the west by the Edwards Plateau and the Cross Timbers, and on the east by the Post Oak Savannah. Annual rainfall averages 30 to 40 inches, with higher averages to the east. This region is dominated by prairie species. The most common grass species include little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) and Indian grass (Sorghastrum nutans) in the uplands and switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) in the riparian areas and drainages. Common herbaceous flowering plants include salvias, penstemons, and silphiums. This area has suffered greatly from overgrazing and agricultural use. Few intact areas remain, though many of the plants can be found along county roadsides throughout the region.

Our four host chapters (New Braunfels, Lindheimer, Guadalupe, and the Hill Country chapters) are located in one or both of the ecoregions above. However, the eastern portion of Guadalupe County also falls within the Post Oak Savanna ecoregion. Annual rainfall averages 35 to 45 inches, with higher averages to the east. A wide variety of hardwood trees are found, including several species of oaks, elms, and in the Bastrop area, loblolly pine (Pinus taeda). Grasses and forbs dominate in the open savannas, with most common grass being little bluestem. Ranching, agriculture, and fire suppression have allowed woody species to encroach on the once-open savannas.

Source: Wildflowers of Texas by Michael Eason