World Bees Checklist Completed!

Together with specialists around the world, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), a partner of the NBII, has completed a checklist of the 19,436 named bee species of the world. The entire checklist (with some synonyms and subspecies) is fully integrated into the ITIS database and can be accessed online at

"The bee checklist acts as a taxonomic 'Rosetta Stone' that will enhance communication, information exchange and data repatriation about bees. The completed checklist is a first step in modeling and forecasting future population trends," Mike Ruggiero, ITIS.

Conferences of Interest

  6th International Conference on the Biology of Butterflies
6/29/2010 - 7/2/2010
Edmonton, Alberta

  The Bee Course
8/22/2011 - 9/1/2011
Portal, Arizona
United States


Animated Hummingbird

Imagine living in a world without bees or other pollinators! It would be a world without flowers, fruit, even a cup of coffee. A world, even, without chocolate!

Thanks to the wonderful work of bees, butterflies, birds, and other animal pollinators, the world's flowering plants are able to reproduce and bear fruit, providing many of the foods we eat, the plant materials we and other organisms use, and the beauty we see around us. Yet today, there is evidence indicating alarming pollinator population declines worldwide.

Domesticated honey bees are not the only pollinators in trouble these days. Many species of butterflies, moths, birds, bats and other pollinators are also in retreat, threatening not only the production of commercial crops but also a wide range of flowering plants, including rare and endangered species.

"Action must be taken to reverse these trends," says Stephen Buchmann, an entomologist formerly with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Carl Hayden Bee Research Center in Tucson, Arizona. According to Buchmann, only a few of these pollinators (mainly Hawaiian bird species) are protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act. "This is simply because the world is focused on the charismatic megafauna--the lions and tigers and bears," he says. "The little things that run the world, including bees, butterflies, bats and hummingbirds, go unnoticed and unprotected until it is sometimes too late."

Did you Join the Conversation about Native Bees during National Pollinator Week (June 20-26)?

The declaration of Pollinator Week was brought about largely through the efforts of the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign (NAPPC). Explore this page to find lots of ideas and opportunities for you to join in the celebration of Pollinator Week.

This year's Pollinator Week poster celebrates the diversity of native bees. You can request copies of this beautiful poster from The Pollinator Partnership or the Natural Resources Conservation Service. And don't forget to download the Full Description of Bee Species (PDF) on the poster. 

The Senate passed Resolution 580 "Recognizing the importance of pollinators to ecosystem health and agriculture in the United States and the value of partnership efforts to increase awareness about pollinators and support for protecting and sustaining pollinators by designating June 24 though June 30, 2007 as 'National Pollinator Week'." Read Resolution 580. Portable Document Format (PDF) 

Pollinator Week occured June 20 through June 26, 2011. To learn more about this year's events, click here or read more about the events of Pollinator Weeks held in past years 20072008, 2009, 2010.

USGS Announcement

Polygonia interrogationis, copyright Bob Moul
Polygonia interrogationis
[Photograph: © Bob Moul]
Used with permission

Latest Enhancements to Butterfly and Moth Site Net Solid Gains for USGS
February 2011

For more information, contact Kelly Lotts, Jen Carlino, or Ron Sepic.
See the official USGS press release.

With the new butterfly and moth season poised to begin, Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA) recently launched its re-tooled Web site at that's now more helpful than ever to its broad range of users. The site was developed at Montana State University (MSU) under a cooperative agreement from the USGS.

BAMONA has its roots in U.S. county-level data collection efforts begun in 1995 by the USGS Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC). In 2004, the USGS-National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) and USGS-NPWRC provided funding to the Big Sky Institute at MSU to transform the existing NPWRC data into a modern, interactive, and searchable online database: a technological metamorphosis from which BAMONA has emerged. Since 2006, the USGS-NBII has continued to support and enhance the BAMONA project's ongoing data collection and dissemination. This partnership has been a natural collaboration between organizations that recognize the value of easily accessible, digitized, and reliable information to support scientific research and resource management.

With more than 280,000 verified sighting records and 3,180 images that describe 4,623 species, BAMONA is committed to collecting and providing access to quality-controlled data about butterflies and moths of North America. Its goal is to fill the needs of scientists and nature observers by bringing verified occurrence and life history data into one accessible location.

The site's latest innovations are aligned with that goal and aimed at improving BAMONA's technologies for both data collection and data dissemination. As for the former, users can now submit records - which typically include a photograph - via the site's new user submission form. Users key in such information as the address or location where they saw a butterfly or moth. Once this information is entered, the creature's location (latitude and longitude) is set automatically. Now, just a photo upload and a few mouse clicks from logged-in users replace an outdated submission process that required multiple e-mails with spreadsheet attachments.


Journal of Pollination Ecology! An Open Access Journal.

The Journal of Pollination Ecology (, launched in 2010, is now also fully indexed and available through the Directory of Open Access Journals. The Journal of Pollination Ecology is a peer-reviewed open access online journal that aims to promote the exchange of original knowledge and research in any area of pollination issues. Articles in the journal include original research articles, short communications and review articles.

A Very Handy
Bee Manual:

The latest edition (October, 2010) of "The Very Handy Manual: How to Catch and Identify Bees and Manage a Collection" is now available!

Compiled mainly by Sam Droege at the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab with input from specialist researchers and taxonomists over several years from 2004-2008, this guide provides detailed instructions on bee monitoring techniques including specimen collection, processing and management; bee identification; and more!

To download the manual as a PDF, click here.

Bee Course 2011: A Workshop for Pollination Biologists and Ecologists

The Bee Course 2011, is a nine-day workshop for conservation biologists, pollination ecologists and other biologists who want to gain greater knowledge of the systematics and biology of bees. The main purpose of the course is to provide participants with sufficient knowledge and experience to use effectively The Bee Genera of North and Central America by Michener, McGinley, and Danforth, 1994. Persons equipped with the information from this course will be capable of using Charles Michener's magnum opus, Bees of the World, re-published in 2007 by Johns Hopkins University Press.

When : August 22 to September 1, 2011

Where : Southwestern Research Station, Portal, Arizona, USA.

For details and application form visit

Deadline for applications : March 1, 2011

The NBII Program is administered by the Biological Informatics Program of the U.S. Geological Survey
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