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Bee Identification Guides - Online Training

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  • Sam Droege
    USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab Invites you to participate in an interactive, online training session in using: Discoverlife Native Bee
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2006

      USGS Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab
      Invites you to participate in an interactive, online training session in using:

      Discoverlife Native Bee Identification Guides

      The two initial session are on November 29, 2006 and repeated on December 4th, 2006 at 2:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) with lines opening at 1:30 p.m. for those who have not used WebEx before.  There are no fees associated with these sessions, but you will have to pay for the long-distance conference call.

      The Guides are available for use and viewing at:


      Our purpose is to expose and train individuals in the art of identifying Native Bees.  Currently, while the interest in research and monitoring of native bees is great, the process of correctly identifying any bees is daunting.  The root cause of this situation is a loss of taxonomists who write keys and identify bees. Consequently, available keys are scattered, largely out-of-date, and written primarily with a specialist in mind.    At present, only a handful of very overworked individuals can identify bees to the species level and this needs to change prior to North American’s embarking on the large scale research and monitoring efforts needed for the conservation of this, the most important group of pollinators.

      To remedy that situation we have created the aforementioned online guides which we believe to be taxonomically up-to-date, faster to use, more accurate, and easier than the older keys.  

      However, they do require a new way of thinking about the identification process and their many features are generally unfamiliar to most.  To help in that process we are offering a set of online training sessions, first announced here, as well as the previously announced times when our lab will be open for visitors who wish to work with Sam Droege on identification issues as well as a week-long course this coming April.  These later dates are listed again below.

      For everyone, the first step should be to participate in the 2 free online training sessions (the second session will be a repeat of the first) at either of the times listed above.  The details and registration is available at:


      Depending on interest we will regularly repeat these training sessions.

      What follows is information about the open lab and workshops on Native Bee Monitoring that we are also hosting.

      Open Lab Dates for Those Interested in Learning to Identify Eastern North American Bees to Species

      There is a great need to inventory and monitor native bees throughout their range.  Our lab plans to sponsor the creation of monitoring programs and baseline inventories for bees but prior to the start of those surveys we feel that we need to build a capacity among other institutions and individuals to take on the task of identifying the bees resulting from those surveys.  Consequently, we will open our lab on the dates listed below to anyone interested in learning to identify bees.  

      Our priority will be to train those who will most likely go on to help with such surveys, whether for pay or as part of another program.  Learning to identify bees requires a commitment to hours of microscope work and in no way will attending our workshops and open labs alone will be sufficient to becoming skilled at that art.  Consequently, there is an expectation that those interested in learning bee identification will have access to a dissecting microscope at home or at their work.  That said, novices and volunteers are always welcome as we all have to start somewhere but may be bumped from lab microscopes and computers depending on schedules.  Additionally, volunteers are needed to help with the processing, curation and databasing of the native bees that are collected by the lab outside of the dates listed below.

      The open dates are as follows:

      December 7th

      January 18th
      February 15th
      March 15th
      April 19th
      May 17th
      June 14th

      Times will be 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

      During the week of, April 16 – 20th, we will host a week long intensive workshop on bee species identification.  This workshop will be free with participants expected to pay for their food and lodging using local establishments.  

      Thank you.


      Sam Droege  SDroege@...                      
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      To make a prairie it takes a clover

      and one bee,--
      One clover, and a bee,
      And revery.
      The revery alone will do
      If bees are few.

        - Emily Dickinson
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