Whenever we talk about bees and pollination, most folks focus on honey bees. Although honey bees are critically important pollinators in agroecosystems they are relatively unimportant in native habitats in the Americas. Social bees, like honey bees, stingless bees and bumblebees, are actually only a small component of over-all bee diversity. There are roughly 20,000 species of bees worldwide but only about 2% of these are social, living in colonies with a queen and workers. About 4,000 bee species are known from the U.S. and 40% of these occur in California! - From Professor Lynn Kimsey's article in the Fall 2019 Bohart Museum Society newsletter.
Franklin's bumble bee and Robbin Thorp
The late Robbin Thorp, UC Davis distinguished emeritus professor and a tireless advocate of pollinator species protection and conservation, would have been proud.
Franklin's bumble bee, Bombus franklini,--a bee that he monitored for decades until his death in 2019--is now protected as an endangered species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Protection means opening up funding and resources. -From Kathy Keatley Garvey's article in the Bug Squad (Click the image to the left to read the full article).
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