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Tribe Bombini - Bumble Bees

 
 
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Bumble Bees of the Eastern United States
By Sheila Colla, Leif Richardson, Paul Williams
USDA, 2011
Downloadable PDF at:
http://www.fs.fed.us/wildflowers/pollinators/documents/BumbleBeeGuide2011.pdf
(Link broken as of November 2012--see Mike Quinn's separate link below for another source.)

Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide
By Williams et al.
Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 208 pp., 2014
Paul H. Williams, Robbin W. Thorp, Leif L. Richardson & Sheila R. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide. Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ. 208 pp.

Publisher's Page

More than ever before, there is widespread interest in studying bumble bees and the critical role they play in our ecosystems. Bumble Bees of North America is the first comprehensive guide to North American bumble bees to be published in more than a century. Richly illustrated with color photographs, diagrams, range maps, and graphs of seasonal activity patterns, this guide allows amateur and professional naturalists to identify all 46 bumble bee species found north of Mexico and to understand their ecology and changing geographic distributions.

Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.
By Cameron et al.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 108: 662-667. , 2011
Full Text

Cameron et al. (2011) quantified dramatic range-wide population declines in B. occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, B. affinis, and B. terricola that have occurred over the last few decades.

Abstract (part):

Here, we report results of a 3-y interdisciplinary study of changing distributions, population genetic structure, and levels of pathogen infection in bumble bee populations across the United States. We compare current and historical distributions of eight species, compiling a database of >73,000 museum records for comparison with data from intensive nationwide surveys of >16,000 specimens. We show that the relative abundances of four species have declined by up to 96% and that their surveyed geographic ranges have contracted by 23–87%, some within the last 20 y.

Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of Texas: historical distributions.
By Warriner, M.D.
Southwestern Naturalist 57(4): 442-445., 2012
Full PDF

Abstract: I compiled data from several museum collections to map historical distributions of species of bumble bees across Texas. Bombus auricomus, B. bimaculatus, B. fervidus, B. fraternus, B. griseocollis, B. impatiens, B. pensylvanicus, B. sonorus, and B. variabilis were confirmed from the state based on vouchered specimens.

As currently understood, the bumble bee fauna of Texas consists of nine documented species.

Warriner, M.D. 2012. Bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of Texas: historical distributions.

Bumble Bees of the Western United States
By Jonathan Koch, James Strange, and Paul Williams
U.S. Forest Service and the Pollinator Partnership
Scroll down to the 3rd item on this web page... to find links for either downloading the free PDF of "Bumble Bees of the Western United States", or for ordering a (color) hard-copy of the work from the "Pollinator Partnership" for $15.

This is a nice compact guide to western bumble bees. Includes discussion, photos, numerous dorsal-view color diagrams (illustrating variation), host plants, etc. for each of the 30 species covered. Also includes general discussion of bumble bee biology at the beginning of the text, and a key to species (for females only) at the end of the book.

The Natural History of Bumblebees: A Sourcebook for Investigations
By Carol Ann Kearns; James Thomson. 2001
University Press of Colorado, Bolder, 2001
Carol Ann Kearns; James Thomson. 2001. The Natural History of Bumblebees: A Sourcebook for Investigations. University Press of Colorado, Bolder. xiv +130 pp.

Official website - UPC

Packed with information on bumblebee colonies, bee honeypots, bee development, foraging behavior, as well as instructions for maintaining bumblebees in captivity, this lively and colorful book also includes an easy-to-use photographic field guide to aid in the identification of over fifty species of North American bumblebee-virtually every known species on this continent.

Bumble Bees and Cuckoo Bumble Bees of California
By Robbin W. Thorp, Donald S. Horning, Jr., Lorry L. Dunning
University of California Press, Berkeley, 1983
A useful reference covering California bumblebees by a well-respected authority on the subject. Begins with general information on life history and ecology, followed by technical keys, and discussions of the California subgenera and species of Bombus and Psithyrus (parasitic "Cuckoo Bumble Bees"). A PDF file of the 79 page monograph is available for free here.

Pollination Ecology of the Front Range of the Colorado Rocky Mountains
By Macior, Lazarus Walter
Melanderia, Vol. 15, Washington State Entomological Society, Pullman WA 99164-6382, 1974
59 pp., Bombus (19 species) and Psithyrus insularis only. No images.

 
 
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