Identification of Northeastern Bee Species Workshop
Taught by Dr. John Ascher
Course Dates: March 22-24, 2013
Course Location: University of
Massachusetts – Amherst
Course Leader: Dr. John S. Ascher,
Research Scientist of the American Museum of Natural History
Course Assistant: Eli S. Wyman of the
American Museum of Natural History
Course Length: 3 days, (optional
evening of March 21 to set up and meet participants)
purpose of this advanced workshop is to help participants identify bees,
including tricky species pairs, using a variety of efficient methods including
but not limited to working these bees through online and published keys.
Participants are encouraged to bring in bee specimens to study during the
workshop, and can expect to make or confirm identifications for many of these. This
will aid in building a reliably determined synoptic collection of the bee fauna in their area.
course will take place over three days and will largely consist of discussions
of regional identification problems led by Dr. Ascher and microscope work using
appropriate keys with assistance from him and Eli Wyman. In particular, Dr.
Ascher will share his experience separating tricky species pairs so as to
supplement and clarify information available in well known print and online
resources. As a lifelong birder, he will also discuss field identification
techniques widely applied to identify birds but less often used by
entomologists. In addition, methods of efficient sorting and curation will be
discussed so as to improve workflow.
the conclusion of the workshop students should have an improved understanding
and confidence to more efficiently recognize obvious species and to reliably
separate tricky bee species pairs, allowing them to identify a greater
proportion of their own material to species and to better prepare remaining
specimens for further study by regional and global taxonomic experts.
Participants are encouraged to bring their own specimens
to the course for identification. Ideally, participants should attempt to
identify a proportion of their material using the keys prior to the course to
familiarize themselves with the structure of the keys and to determine which
couplets they find difficult to interpret.
Students will bring to the
1) microscope (a
limited number may be available so please indicate to us if you are unable to
bring your own)
2) light source (a
desk lamp with a movable neck and an energy-saving light bulb is sufficient – a
good light is crucial for identifying Dialictus
– fibre optic lights are NOT recommended without a ring light)
specimens to identify
a laptop to link with online keys
pen, paper, scissors (for taking notes and adding determination labels)
6) a pillow if needed
for extra height. The desks in the lab are a rather high making access to eye
pieces a bit of a challenge
extra specimens if you have some to share or swap.
Who Should Attend: This is an advanced
workshop and will not cover the basics. We are assuming that you have considerable
experience with bee identification and are familiar with dichotomous keys and
external bee anatomy.
Cost: Tuition is $150.00.
Questions: Please contact Joan
Milam (jmilam@...), University of
Massachusetts - Amherst