Bee Monitoring Listserve

The purpose of this listserve is to disseminate information and foster discussions regarding the inventory and monitoring of bees as well as their identification.

* To learn more about the beemonitoring group, please visit:

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.

List of North American
Introduced & Alien Bee Species

Now Available - List of North American (North of Mexico) Introduced and Alien Bee Species (July 2008)!

Compiled by Sam Droege (USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center) from information drawn from literature, consultations with active collectors, online collection data available via the Global Mapper on, and John Ascher's compilation of distributional data. With special thanks for contributions from Mike Arduser, John Ascher, Rob Jean, Jack Neff, and Robbin Thorp.

To download the list as PDF, click here.

Haagen-Dazs(R) Loves Honey Bees

  A cartoon drawing of a scoop of ice cream on a cone.

Image copyright The Curtoons Cartoon Company.

Haagen-Dazs(R)' new HelpTheHoneyBees web site provides a fun, colorful and informative explanation and exploration of the importance of honey bees as pollinators and the importance of their pollination services to the Haagen-Dazs(R) product range.

"Bee pollination is essential for ingredients in nearly 40 percent"of Haagen-Dazs(R) super-premium ice cream flavors. The web site also includes a "bee store" with bee-friendly merchandise. Profits from the"bee store" go towards funding honey bee research. Bravo Haagen-Dazs(R)!

Digital Slide Show Identification Guide to Bees

Compiled mainly by Sam Droege at the USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab along with a consortium of North American bee biologists, identification guides are now available for Bees (Apidae) Part I; Bees (Apidae) Part II; Sweat Bees (Halictidae); Mining Bees (Andrenidae); and Leafcutter Bees (Megachilidae).

The guides are broken down by genus, with each having an information page followed by a page of illustrations and a distribution map. Each guide can be downloaded as a PowerPoint presentation (presentations hosted by NBII with permission from the author).

Recommended Reading

National Academy of Sciences released a Report on the Status of Pollinators in North America on October 18, 2006.  The report provides an analysis of the status of managed and unmanaged pollinator populations in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It can be purchased from the National Academies Press web site. Free PDF copies of the Report in Brief or the Executive Summary are also available for download from the web.

Quote: "For most North American pollinator species, long-term population data are lacking and knowledge of their basic ecology is incomplete."

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

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! Read more...

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.

USA-NPN Releases Nature's Notebook Plant and Animal Phenology Observation Program

The United States National Phenology Network (US-NPN), supported in part by the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII), is pleased to announce the release of Nature's Notebook, a new plant and animal phenology observation program. Phenology is the study of the timing of plant and animal life cycle events. Using the new Nature's Notebook Web pages, observers can now collect data on animals as well as plants. Fifty-eight animal profiles, with photos, maps, and phenophases have been added (with more to come), to the 213 plants already included in the US-NPN's list of species for monitoring. Improvements to the online interface have also made it possible for participants to submit observations of more than one species at a time on the "Submit Observations" page. Visit the US-NPN Nature's Notebook Web pages to learn more.


Join the Bee Hunt, a participatory science research project of Discover Life ( on Earth Day, April 22, 2010 and throughout the summer season. This partnership for hands-on research in the field offers something for everyone. With Bee Hunt YOU ARE THE SCIENTIST Teachers and students can use Bee Hunt to conduct their own original research and become more engaged in science. Bee Hunt is ideal for independent projects like scout merit badges, 4-H projects and Homeschool studies. Park managers and nature centers can use Bee Hunt to monitor native pollinators and to provide environmental education. Amateur naturalists, farmers, beekeepers, gardeners, and nature photographers can be Bee Hunters and develop their own nature photograph albums and life lists of species.

Visit the Discover Life Web site for more details, and some examples of how to set up a Bee Hunt.

Discover Life is a partner of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII). With support from the NBII and other partners, Discover Life provides unique online tools for studying natural history and tracking the impacts of ecological problems.

NEW Penn State Center for Pollinator Research and Two Year Graduate Fellowship in Honey Bee Health!

Penn State University is pleased to announce the formation of the new Center for Pollinator Research. As an inaugural event, they are hosting the first International Conference on Pollinator Biology, Health and Policy at Penn State on July 24-28, 2010. Furthermore, they have received generous funding from the O'Keeffe Foundation to support a two year graduate fellowship in honey bee health. Click here for more information...

New Tool for Assessing the Value of Pollination Services and National Vulnerabilities to Pollinator Declines (January, 2010)

The FAO's Plant Production and Protection Division, in collaboration with INRA (Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, a national government agency) has developed a tool for assessing the value of pollination services and national vulnerabilities to pollinator declines. Guidelines explaining the use of the tool, and a downloadable spreadsheet for applying the assessment, are available on the "Documents" page of AGP's Global Action on Pollination Services for Sustainable Agriculture website. The spreadsheet also presents as examples the analysis of the vulnerability of the national economies of Ghana and Nepal, using 2005 FAOSTAT data. The economic value of pollinators in Ghana - with a high dependence of its economy on cocoa production which in turn is 90% dependent on insect pollinators for yields - was estimated at $788 million dollars; the economic value of pollinators to the Nepal economy in 2005 was $81 million. (January, 2010)

Developing a Common Schema for Managing Plant-Pollinator Interaction Data

You are invited to participate in a global initiative to develop a common schema for managing plant-pollinator interaction data. The global community, through the Convention on Biological Diversity, has recognized the importance of pollinators to ecosystem health and sustainable agriculture. In order to better understand pollination and how to conserve and manage it, we need to capture more information about plant-pollinator interactions.

People have been observing the process of pollination for centuries, but only now do we have new data management tools that may help to share and compile information on plant and pollinator interactions, so that overall trends can be better documented. However, we need a common schema for pollinator interaction data that allows us to share and compile data and use them to identify trends. The definition of that schema is the main objective of this global initiative in which we invite you to participate.

If you have expertise in pollinators/pollination, your contribution is most important. We already have colleagues from many countries and continents that have joined and submitted their suggestions and comments, but you are an important player in this community and that is why we would like to have you involved in this initiative, which is supported by FAO, IABIN, and FAPESP.

Instructions: DOC | PDF
Reference Spreadsheet: XLS

If you would like to contribute/participate in this activity, please download these documents and follow the instructions:

Best regards,

Antonio Saraiva (e-mail:, on behalf of:
Antonio Saraiva / University of Sao Paulo
Barbara Gemmill-Herren / FAO
Mike Ruggiero / Smithsonian Institution

Dr. Antonio Mauro Saraiva
University of São Paulo - School of Engineering
Computing and Digital Systems Engineering Dept.
Agricultural Automation Laboratory
Ph: +55-11-3091-5366 (Brazil)
Fax: +55-11-3091-5294 (Brazil)
Email: amsaraiv(at)
Personal URL:

USGS Developing Statistical Tools
To Study Pollinator Interactions with Plants

From 10-13 December 2009, USGS statistician Bob Dorazio (SESC) is participating in a meeting of the Binary Matrices Working Group at the University of Tennessee. Sponsored by the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS), the meeting will focus on developing a statistical framework that can help overcome the current statistical constraints and challenges of analyzing pollinator networks. Dorazio's research will address methods for overcoming the shortcomings of current statistical tools, which do not account for the ecological traits of pollinators. For example, the timing of the pollinator visit must occur while a plant is in bloom (a challenge in statistically defining the probability of pollination events) and consider highly complex pollinator networks and food webs. Analysis ideally should also factor in genetics of pollinators, which tend to evolve over short time periods in conjunction with local plants, and account for the specific sampling procedures that are being used to gather data. (Bob Dorazio, 352-392-3081,

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

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.

Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) Offers Additional Butterfly Data

Working with butterfly specialists nationwide, ITIS (a vital USGS-NBII component) has recently made a large quantity of new information on North American butterflies available. More than 3,600 scientific names and 1,000 common names for more than 800 species and 1,600 subspecies are now included. The comprehensive list contains both scientific and common names with associated data for this important group that includes numerous pollinators and endangered species as well as some invasives. For more information, visit <http//> or contact Gerald "Stinger" Guala, Reston, VA, 703-648-4311.

Mitchell's The Bees of the Eastern United States is Now Available Online!

Theodore Mitchell's two volume set The Bees of the Eastern United States was published in 1960 (part (I) and 1962 (part II). This publication is the most comprehensive treatment of the eastern North American bee fauna. Sam Droege (USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center) and Claus Rasmussen (University of Illinois) graciously scanned and OCRed these two books, which are now available and hosted online by the North Carolina State University's Insect Museum as PDFs. This effort was initiated by Sam's work on the Discover Life bee pages. Discover Life is a partner of the National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII).

Xerces Society Releases Report on Previously Common Bumble Bee Species

Cover page of Xerces report by Prepared by: Elaine Evans (The Xerces Society), Dr. Robbin Thorp (U.C. Davis), Sarina Jepsen (The Xerces Society), and Scott Hoffman Black (Cover Image Copyright The Xerces Society).
Cover page of Xerces report (Cover Image Copyright The Xerces Society).

This report, Status Review of Three Formerly Common Species of Bumble Bee in the Subgenus Bombus: Bombus affinis (the rusty patched bumble bee), B. terricola (the yellowbanded bumble bee), and B. occidentalis (the western bumble bee), was prompted by the reduction in both the abundance and distribution of these previously common bumble bees. All three of these species are important pollinators of both crops and wildflowers, and losses of these pollinators could have both economic and ecological impacts. The report includes information on the biology, habitat requirements, pollination ecology, population distribution and status, and potential threats to each bee species.

Download the report from
the Xerces Society web site

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