Native Bee Thesis - Wichita County - Texas

 Photo by Sam Droege, USGS 

Photo by Sam Droege, USGS 

Honey bees (Apis) and bumble bees (Bombus) have been studied more than other species of bees, partially due to their eusocial behavior and living as a colony.  However, most native bees are solitary species where the bee will construct a nest, leave food for their offspring, and then either die or leave during the pupal stage of the offspring.  These less well-known solitary bees, including large carpenter bees (Xylocopa), leaf-cutter bees (Megachile), mason bees (Osmia), mining bees (Andrena), squash bees (Peponapis), sunflower bees (Diadasia), and sweat bees (Agapostemon), are responsible for a substantial amount of pollination in agricultural and ecological systems. Although there has been an increase in research in recent years, numerous native bee species remain undescribed.  Ecological aspects such as adaptation to changing environments, single plant species pollination or generalist pollination, and evolutionary aspects like phenotypic changes of native bee species, are poorly known in part because the solitary nature of these species make extensive research efforts on them more difficult.  Basic biodiversity research addressing species richness in a given region is a logical starting point from which other research questions can eventually be developed and answered. I am providing a baseline for Wichita County and researching the diversity of our county.

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If you are a gardener or a bee lover. FOLLOW along as I will be providing information on specific bees in our area and ways that you can help native bees even in your own backyard. 

- Blair Ramon

PollinatorsBlair Ramon