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2493Re: [beemonitoring] Alternative Methodology Question

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  • Jack Neff
    Nov 8, 2012
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      Jessica:  There are no reliable no-kill methods for assessing bee diversity at the species level.  With practice, it is not hard to recognize most genera without killing them, either while in flight or capturing and examining them with a handlens (holding females with a gloved hand) but this takes a lot of experience and will not be easy for a novice.  Various folks try to identify things via high quality macrophotos of live insects but even these will be insufficient for many taxa since the relevant characters often are not visible in the pictures.  Some people have tried chilling live bees and examining them under a scope but in the absence of vouchers or a proven ability to identify things this way, I have no idea how reliable this technique is.

      John L. Neff
      Central Texas Melittological Institute
      7307 Running Rope
      Austin,TX 78731 USA

      From: Jessica Beckham <jessbeck47@...>
      To: "beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com" <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Thursday, November 8, 2012 10:41 AM
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Alternative Methodology Question

      Hello All,

      I am a PhD student who is developing a project to assess bee pollinator diversity in urban gardens in my area (Denton, Texas).  I understand that the best methods for assessing bee diversity involve collection of bees via hand netting and bowl traps, especially for a novice at bee identification like myself.  However, I am wondering if there are any accepted no-kill methods for assessing bee diversity. The reason is that, although I have had multiple local urban gardeners and homeowners express interest in my project, some are hesitant to participate because they realize that bees are important resources and they do not want to help reduce the already limited populations.  To an extent I can see this point and am thrilled that citizens are aware of the situation that our pollinators are facing.  I thought I would address this group to see if anyone has used/knows of methodology for assessing bee diversity without killing bees.  Furthermore, has anyone dealt with similar experiences?   

      Thanks in advance!

      Jessica Beckham
      Ph.D Student
      University of North Texas, Institute of Applied Science

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