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1185Re: [beemonitoring] RE: use of new Squash Bee Trap?

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  • John S. Ascher
    Sep 3, 2010
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      Certain bee species and a very few bee faunas are well known and can be
      repeatedly sampled, so that adequate information can be obtained using
      observation or inefficient, highly selective collecting methods. In these
      limited circumstances large-scale collecting ("killing") may be

      However, most bee species are poorly known and most bee faunas are
      inadequately characterized if not entirely unknown. The only efficient way
      to remedy this is to collect bees on a large scale using highly effective
      methods. Alternatively, we can remain ignorant or waste carbon on repeat
      visits (spewing pollutants and smashing bees against our windshield en
      route) that may not have been required had more effective techniques been

      Those who oppose "unnecessary killing" on principal have done immense harm
      to bee populations by preventing control of the deer that eat their host
      plants. They have a lot more hemolymph on their hands then do insect

      "I did my whole insect collection for Entomology last year with only found
      dead insects"

      I'm sure it was amusing but had little scientific value.

      Jim, I'm afraid that many people cannot distinguish Peponapis from the
      smaller Xenoglossa (see Bugguide), and until they learn to do so they will
      need to document their identifications with vouchers (photo or specimen).
      Consubgeneric Xenoglossa can be quite tricky to separate (as are Peponapis
      where multiple species occur), so if these are to be separated even more
      problematic to rely on observation or sparse vouchers. Thus, squash bee
      identification remains a challenge even though these are among the better
      known bees.


      > Bee Group,
      > I too, have been concerned about unnecessary killing of bees. As a matter
      > of fact I did my whole insect collection for Entomology last year with
      > only found dead insects. Everyone in my class thought I was odd and
      > eccentric to care so much about a handful of bugs. I think all life is
      > precious and not to be wasted. It is nice to hear some similar sentiments.
      > I do realize, however, that it is difficult- if not impossible- to
      > identify many species by sight.
      > Best,
      > Sharon Muczynski LEED® AP
      > Graduate Student in Conservation Ecology
      > On Sep 3, 2010, at 1:17 PM, Cane, Jim wrote:
      >> Folks- I am curious (trying not to be appalled) as to why someone would
      >> want to kill Peponapis bees en masse with pan trapping? What can’t be
      >> learned
      >> from surveying for them at the very flowers that are being used to bait
      >> them to pan traps? Certainly there is a lot that can’t be learned
      >> from merely killing the bees through passive sampling. Voucher
      >> specimens I can understand. I could say more, but will
      >> reserve judgment, knowing that I often don’t see all the angles to an
      >> issue and would like to learn the justification in this case.
      >> Yours,
      >> Jim Cane

      John S. Ascher, Ph.D.
      Bee Database Project Manager
      Division of Invertebrate Zoology
      American Museum of Natural History
      Central Park West @ 79th St.
      New York, NY 10024-5192
      work phone: 212-496-3447
      mobile phone: 917-407-0378
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