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

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  • John S. Ascher
    manic collectors, those who buy t-shirts that say I collect, therefore I am Straw men if I ve ever seen one. Here s another one: If the objective is
    Message 1 of 11 , Sep 3, 2010
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      "manic collectors, those who buy t-shirts that say "I collect, therefore I
      am""

      Straw men if I've ever seen one. Here's another one: "If the objective is
      simply to use some pins and fill a bunch of drawers"

      "I doubt the purpose was for the immediate advancement of science or for
      amusement; it was for a class."

      In many areas just about the only records we have of Bombus affinis and
      other species of interest for entire decades (e.g., the 1970s and 1980s)
      are those collected (not found dead) by students for their entomology
      classes. "Responsible" "scientific" collectors (including myself in the
      late 1990s when I was in Ithaca) saw no point in collecting long series of
      such a common bee. If such series existed today they would be extremely
      valuable as they could be used to screen for internal parasites such as
      Nosema and to document baseline population structure prior to declines.

      The long-term value of specimens, and in particular long series of
      specimens, cannot be anticipated.

      "Tell me again: who did that work?"

      I have no idea what this means and suspect I'm not alone among readers of
      this list serve. If you're referring to your work or other particular work
      please do us all a favor and provide the reference.

      Regarding the importance of taking care when identifying squash bees, and
      not assuming that you know a priori which species occur at a site, note
      that Glenn Hall recently found that "The Squash Bee Xenoglossa kansensis
      Cockerell (Hymenoptera: Apidae) Found in Organic Farms in Northern
      Florida" [http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2317/0022-8567-83.1.84%5d was a
      species not previously reported from this "well known" state.

      I live in New York City, long one of the most populated places on earth,
      and regret to report that not a single comprehensive bee collection has
      been made from the greater metropolitan area (Yurlina's studies on Staten
      Island were relatively intensive), and there are essentially no extensive
      collections between the 1930s and recent times. Our best sample, from the
      1890s, consists of only a few hundred specimens, with very few long
      series. Where were the "manic collectors" of bees when we needed them?

      John


      >
      >
      >
      >
      >>
      >>
      >> ________________________________
      >> From: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      >> [mailto:beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com]
      >> On Behalf Of John S. Ascher
      >> Sent: Friday, September 03, 2010 3:03 PM
      >> To: Sharon Muczynski
      >> Cc: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      >> Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] RE: use of new Squash Bee Trap?
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >>>>>John, you didn't direct this to me but I'm going to respond anyway.
      >>
      >> 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
      >> unwarranted.
      >>
      >>>>>And that's all that is being said here, at least by me. It depends on
      >>>>> what your objectives are and how scientifically worthy they are and
      >>>>> if
      >>>>> there are alternative ways to gather the data. If the objective is
      >>>>> simply to use some pins and fill a bunch of drawers, then your
      >>>>> objectives are, in my opinion, unworthy (I could go further but
      >>>>> won't).
      >>
      >> 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
      >> employed.
      >>
      >>>>>So you mean to suggest that manic collectors, those who buy t-shirts
      >>>>> that say "I collect, therefore I am", don't repeat their collecting
      >>>>> expeditions, or "spew pollutants" or "waste carbon" (angels are
      >>>>> they?).
      >>>>> I suppose they do their collecting while hovering or from
      >>>>> skateboards.
      >>>>> Again, I don't know anyone, least of all me, who reasonably objects
      >>>>> to
      >>>>> collecting for the purposes you outline (lord knows I've done much of
      >>>>> it myself) but that is hardly what we're talking about. Don't erect
      >>>>> straw men. We're talking about collecting simply for the sake of
      >>>>> collecting, or collecting that cannot justify its purported purpose,
      >>>>> or
      >>>>> collecting that puts bee populations in local areas at risk for no
      >>>>> good
      >>>>> purpose.
      >>
      >> 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
      >> collectors.
      >>
      >>>>>I too have remarked upon the high correlation between opponents of bee
      >>>>> killing and opponents of deer control. Tell me again: who did that
      >>>>> work?
      >>
      >> "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.
      >>
      >>>>>I doubt the purpose was for the immediate advancement of science or
      >>>>> for
      >>>>> amusement; it was for a class.
      >>
      >> 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.
      >>
      >>
      >> I'll let Jim respond if he wishes.
      >>
      >>
      >>
      >> Vince T.
      >>
      >> John
      >>
      >>> 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(r) 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
      >>
      >>
      >
      >
      > --
      > 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
      >


      --
      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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