Bee and Pollination Links:

Bees in General:



Bumble bees (Bombus):



 Commercial Bombus sites










Alford, D.V. 1975. Bumblebees. London : Davis-Poynter,

Exhaustive and exciting summary of the basic biology of this fascinating group, with a heavy emphasis on British species.

Heinrich, B. 1979. Bumblebee economics. Harvard University Press.

Engaging and challenging exploration of the physiological ecology of Bombus.

Michener, CD. Bees of the World. .to be released Summer 2000.

Magnum opus by the top bee systematist of them all.

Michener, CD, RJ McGinley, BN Danforth. 1994. The Bee Genera of North and Central America. Smithsonian Institution Press. Washington, USA.

If you're between Panama and the Arctic circle, have I got a bee book for you! This is a great place to start in identification -- great pictures in the key to help you out, good descriptions of genera, and some scant but useful information on biology. Note that the key has side-by-side English and Spanish couplets!

Mitchell, Theodore B. 1960. Bees of the Eastern United States. Published by the North Carolina Agricultural Experiment Station. 2 volumes.

Perhaps 18 pages of introductory biological background, then > 500 pages of keys, line drawings. species descriptions, and distribution notes. Good for technical ID, but not a book for reading. No, the author is no relation to me that I know of!

Christopher O'Toole & Anthony Raw. 1999. The Bees of the World. Facts on File. London : Blandford ; New York, N.Y. : Distributed in the U.S. by Sterling.

Wonderful source on basic bee biology of all groups, great photos.

Stephens, WP. GE Bohart, PF Torchio. The Biology and External Morphology of Bees. With a synopsis of the genera of Northwestern America. Published by the Agricultural Experiment Station, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR.

This book is packed with great information. The key to genera is nice, but there is an enormous wealth of information here on the basic biology of a wide variety of bees (emphasis on Nomia and other agriculturally important wild bees). The binding on this book is terrible -- every copy I've ever seen has all the pages loose, but it's worth the trouble.


Keys (I find Laverty and Harder, and Medler and Carney to be the most useful, though discover life is handy and clever).

Chandler, L. 1950. The Bombidae of Indiana. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science 60:167-177.

Frison, TH. 1919. Keys to the separation of the Bremidae, or bumblebees of Illinois, and other notes. Transactions of the Illinois State Academy of Science 12:157-166.

Husband, RW, RL Fischer, TW Porter. 1980. Description and Biology of bumblebees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in Michigan. Great Lakes Entomologist 13:225-239.

Laverty, TM and LD Harder. 1988. The bumble bees of eastern Canada. Canadian Entomologist 120:965-987.

Medler, JT, and DW Carney. 1963. Bumblebees of Wisconsin (Hymenoptera: Apidae). University of Wisconsin Research Bulletin 240:1-47.

Milliron, HE. 1939. The taxonomy and distribution of Michigan Bombidae, with keys. Papers Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters 24:167-182.

Pickering, J. Discover life - Maps of bee (and other taxa) specimens and valid bee names available online, with online keys and distribution maps. .


My material (RJM):

Quicktime movies of pollinators foraging on Lupine at Cascade Metropark (a small and disjunct population in Summit County OH) in 1997:

Bombus griseocollis - Foraging sequence - 1.2 meg

Bombus griseocollis - closeup - note how the flower is manipulated - 3.4 meg

Osmia sp. 2.2 meg. Notice her use of the middle set of legs to manipulate the flower and pump out pollen


Last updated: 05/03/2009

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