Martin Hauser: 'The Curious Case of the Stingless Bees of Palo Alto'

The title is intriguing: "The Curious Case of the Stingless Bees of Palo Alto."

Isn't it illegal to import stingless bees in the United States? It is.

So what's going on?

Members of the Pacific Coast Entomological Society and guests will find out when Martin Hauser, senior insect biosystematist with the Plant Pest Diagnostics Center, California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), speaks on “The Curious Case of the Stingless Bees of Palo Alto” on Thursday night, Feb. 27 on the UC Davis campus.

The society will meet at 7:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, Room 1371 of the Academic Surge Building on Crocker Lane.

“In 2013 we found a stingless bee colony in Palo Alto in a tree,” Hauser said, “and I had a very hard time identifying the species—the genus is Plebeia—and I had no idea how they made it into California and where they came from. Many years later and many strange events later, I figured all these things out.”

Hauser will discuss his research and also reveal how long stingless bees have been recorded in California.

The 7:30 p.m. meeting begins with a general business session, followed by Hauser's talk.

A pre-meeting dinner will begin at 6 p.m. at the KetMoRee restaurant in downtown Davis. Members and entomology associates interested in joining the group for dinner should e-mail Catherine "Kady" Tauber at  before Tuesday, Feb. 25.

The society meets six to eight times a year, usually at the California Academy of Sciences, UC Berkeley, or at the CDFA's Plant Pest Diagnostics Center. Membership in the society, organized in 1901, is open to everyone--amateurs and professionals alike. The annual membership fee is $25, and $12.50 for students.  The society publishes the quarterly journal, The Pan-Pacific Entomologist. and the Bits and PES Newsletter for members residing within commuting distance of San Francisco.

Contacts: Kandis Gilmore ( or Kady Tauber (