Through the Looking Glass: A Microscopic Look at our Native Bees

Sun, 01/19/2025 - 12:00pm to Mon, 06/30/2025 - 12:00pm
Ocean Gallery

Bees are essential for global food production and the pollination of wild and cultivated plants, yet their numbers and diversity are declining. Understanding the causes is challenging due to limited data on bee species distribution and their traits that influence their vulnerability or resilience to environmental changes. Fortunately, natural history collections like the UCSB Natural History Collections at the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration hold valuable data accumulated over 100 years. This exhibition showcases bee biodiversity through high-resolution images of rare, local bees, many of which can be found on the UCSB campus. A dozen pinned native bee specimens and close-up images offer a unique glimpse into this small yet mighty world.

This exhibit is part of the national Big Bee Project, led by the Cheadle Center and 13 other institutions, focusing on bees' responses to climate change. The photographs were taken by UCSB undergraduate students involved in this research. 

This exhibition is supported by the UCSB Coastal Fund and the California Nature Art Museum.