Sept. 30, 2011
DAVIS-- Stephen Buchmann of Tucson, Ariz., who received his doctorate in entomology from the University of California, Davis with major professor Robbin Thorp, co-authored the newly revised Bee Basics: An Introduction to our Native Bees.
The book, a USDA Forest Service and Pollinator Partnership Publication, can be ordered from the Pollinator Partnership website for a small donation.
Buchmann, international coordinator of the Pollinator Partnership, based in San Francisco, partnered with co-author Beatriz Moisset of Willow Grove, Pa., a retired biologist, and illustrator Steve Buchanan of Wingsted, Conn., known for creating the U.S. Postal Service’s pollinator stamps that were issued June 29, 2007.
Buchmann and Moisset describe native bees as “hidden treasures.”
“From forests to farms, from cities to wildlands, there are 4000 native bee species in the United States, from the tiny Perdita minima to large carpenter bees,” they wrote.
“The honey bee, remarkable as it is, does not know how to pollinate tomato or eggplant flowers. It does very poorly compared to native bees when pollinating many native plants, such as pumpkins, cherries, blueberries, and cranberries.”
The book includes descriptions and illustrations of bees from such families as Apidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae and Colletidae.
“The members of the five most common families, Apidae, Halictidae, Andrenidae, Megachilidae and Colletidae, can be found throughout the North American continent from Canada and Alaska to warm and sunny Florida and Mexico; from forests to deserts; from remote wildernesses to gardens and backyards; even the National Mall in the heart of our nation’s capital sports a native bee fauna. Perhaps the only places where bees are absent are the high mountains.”
“There is even a hardy little bee, the arctic bumble bee, which lives within the Arctic Circle.”
The booklet also offers tips on how to attract pollinators.
The collaborators published the original version of the booklet on October 2010 and the revised booklet in March. Thorp, a noted native pollinator specialist and emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, assisted with the text edits and accuracy of the illustrations. Thorp maintains his office at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility.
Buchmann, an adjunct faculty member in the entomology and EEB (ecology and evolutionary biology) departments at the University of Arizona, is the author of 150 scientific publications and 12 bbooks, including The Forgotten Pollinators
Buchmann, co-author of The Forgotten Pollinators, founded The Bee Works, LLC (now disbanded) and also served as the president of the company. He received his doctorate in 1978 at UC Davis, where he worked on buzz pollination. Thorp and Buchmann are among the instructors of the popular Bee Course, an annual 10-day workshop held at the Southwestern Research Station, near Portal, Ariz.
Beatriz Moisset, born in Argentina and a resident of the United States for more than 40 years, received her doctorate in biology from the University of Cordoba, Argentina. She completed her postdoctoral work at the Jackson Laboratories, Bar Harbor, Maine studying neurochemistry and behavior. An artist, photographer, author and public speaker, she has displayed her pastels and oil paintings at many art shows and contributes her insect photography to the online resource BugGuide.Net. “I became interested in pollinators after my retirement, combining photography and painting with field observations,” Moisset said.
Stephen Buchmann provided illustrator Steve Buchanan with photographs of the pollinators for Bee Basics and for the pollinator stamp. Buchanan’s pollinator stamp is actually comprised of four different stamp designs that fit together like interlocking puzzle. The 41-cent stamp, emphasizing the importance of nature’s pollinators, shows four pollinators: the Southern dogface butterfly (Colias cesonia) and Morrison’s bumble bee (Bombus morrisoni). Other pollinators: calliope hummingbird (Stellula calliope); lesser long-nosed bat (Leptonycteris yerbabuenae).
Thorp noted that the color form of Morrison’s bumble bee is rare in comparison to the more common form illustrated on the stamp.
Bees as Chemists
Busy as a Buchmann (High Country News, March 19, 2007)
University of Arizona Department of Entomology: Stephen Buchmann
Books by Stephen Buchmann
BugGuide.Net: Beatriz Moisset
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology