Two new bee species discovered in the USA

This video from Panama says about itself:

Interesting Behavior Wild Orchid Bees on Barro Colorado Island.

From Associated Press:

USU scientist discovers 2 bee species

April 19th, 2010

Utah State University scientists are buzzing over the recent discovery of two unique bee species.

Biologist and postdoctoral fellow David Tanner discovered the insects in the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge about 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Tanner and two graduate students were collecting data for a study on the relationship between pollinators and rare desert plants when they stumbled on the discovery.

Both of the new species are distinct forms of the genus Perdita, Tanner said. The species have not yet been named, but Tanner hopes to have a hand in the process, along with Terry Griswold, a research entomologist and adjunct assistant professor in USU’s biology department.

A lab operated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Logan has confirmed the find.

Stumbling onto a species that was new to science was a thrill that Tanner said “made him feel like a child again.”

The discovery wasn’t completely unexpected. Desert areas like Ash Meadows have some of the greatest biodiversity of bees in the world, Tanner said. The correlation isn’t fully understood by scientists, but could be related to the dry desert soils, he said. Tanner said the refuge could hold other unknown species.

Bee populations, including honeybees and wild species, are in decline worldwide. And while there is no complete explanation for the losses, Tanner said climate change and the loss of habitat are contributing factors.

“It’s doubtful that any other species could replace honeybees, but it would be beneficial to have alternative, supplemental pollinators,” he said. “Further study is needed to determine which species could serve in this role and that’s one reason why identification and conservation of all bees is important.”

18% decline in bees in UK in 1 year: here.

Bee remains found in 3,000-year-old hives: here.

An “island” of honey bees has been found, isolated in the desert for the last 10,000 years: here.

Tourists are not the only ones swarming down the Champs-Elysees and through the Luxembourg gardens this summer. Thanks to a renewed interest in apiaries, Paris is fast becoming the urban bee-keeping capital of the world: here.

Fortune: What a scientist didn’t tell the New York Times about his study on bee deaths: here.

Unlike us, honeybees naturally make ‘quick switch’ in their biological clocks, researcher finds: here.

More bee species dying off: here.

2 thoughts on “Two new bee species discovered in the USA

  1. Dear Friend of Wildlife,

    Next time you walk into your grocery store, take a look around. See the rows of neatly stacked cucumbers, the barrel full of almonds, the shelf piled high with perfect apples?

    What you might not know is that without humble pollinators — like bees, hummingbirds and butterflies — those same shelves might only have a handful of small and withered crops, and some would be completely empty. And sadly, since pollinators are on the decline worldwide, this scenario might not be far off.

    Pollinators need friends like you to help them survive!

    David RuckmanThat’s why when my coworkers at National Wildlife Federation asked me to talk to you about the importance of pollinators, I jumped at the chance. I was introduced to the basics of beekeeping forty years ago by my grandfather. Back then bees were robust, plentiful and tough enough to survive even an inexperienced beekeeper like me.

    But nowadays, honey bees and other pollinators face many threats, including viruses and diseases that can wipe out entire colonies.

    Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to help! Turning your yard into a Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site is a big step toward providing an environment in which pollinators can visit and thrive.

    It’s easy! Here are just a few ideas to help protect our pollinating friends and create your own Certified Wildlife Habitat™ site:

    * Plant native flowering trees and plants to attract bees
    * Provide a water source, such as a bird bath, to give bees a place to relax and have a drink
    * Leave dead trees and brush where they are to provide a natural home for bees, birds and all kinds of wildlife — even their young!

    To me, bees and other pollinators are so important because they help the earth to be rich and colorful, fertile and diverse — and they’re really fun to watch! Why not find out for yourself by creating a Certified Wildlife Habitat™ today!


    David Ruckman
    NWF Online Systems Director
    and Resident Bee Keeper


  2. Pingback: Pesticide killing honey-bees | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.