Bumblebees of North America: An Identification Guide

Bumblebees of North America: An Identification Guide

Paperback Princeton Field Guides

By (author) Paul H. Williams, By (author) Robbin W. Thorp, By (author) Leif L. Richardson, By (author) Sheila R. Colla

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 230mm x 16mm | 481g
  • Publication date: 29 April 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691152225
  • ISBN 13: 9780691152226
  • Illustrations note: 150 color illus.
  • Sales rank: 564,546

Product description

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. The book draws on the latest molecular research, shows the enormous color variation within species, and guides readers through the many confusing convergences between species. It draws on a large repository of data from museum collections and presents state-of-the-art results on evolutionary relationships, distributions, and ecological roles. Illustrated keys allow identification of color morphs and social castes. A landmark publication, Bumble Bees of North America sets the standard for guides and the study of these important insects. The best guide yet to the 46 recognized bumble bee species in North America north of Mexico Up-to-date taxonomy includes previously unpublished results Detailed distribution maps Extensive keys identify the many color patterns of species

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Author information

Paul H. Williams is a research entomologist at the Natural History Museum in London. Robbin W. Thorp is professor emeritus of entomology at the University of California, Davis. Leif L. Richardson is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Dartmouth College. Sheila R. Colla is an NSERC postdoctoral fellow and project leader at Wildlife Preservation Canada.

Review quote

"A very helpful guide for any one interested in bumble bees."--Amanda Williams, buzzaboutbees.net "As bee populations plummet and environmental concerns continue to make the news, there is widespread interest in bees. This attractively priced guide helps users identify the 46 species found north of Mexico and offers insight into their ecology and habitats... This guide will be useful in public and academic libraries where there is an interest in bees or the environment."--Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist "Identif[ies] the 46 species of bumblebee that are found in North America (Mexico is not included), far more than previous guides. The introduction presents clear information on these bees generally, their distribution, colony cycle, and interactions with plants... An attractive, worthwhile purchase."--Margaret Heilbrun, Library Journal "Because of their importance as a pollinator, their ubiquity (in various species, of course) across the continent, and simply because the lives and behaviors bumble bees are so fascinating, Bumble Bees of North America should be considered as a must-read by all amateur naturalists. Professionals--be they entomologists, ecologists, general biologists, and most especially teachers of life science subjects at all levels--would also do well to add it to their reading lists for both its superb introduction to the genus as well as its value as a reference guide."--John Riutta, Well-read Naturalist "The timely arrival of Bumble Bees of North America on bookstore shelves is as welcome as its namesake insects are in gardens... Given that the last comprehensive guide to North American bumble bees was published in 1913, Williams, Thorps, Richardson, and Colla's Bumble Bees of North America offers a much?needed review of the status and identification of the 46 bumble bee species north of Mexico... [A] much?needed milestone in the ability of scientists and citizens alike to sort bee species found afield and at home. With bees on the decline, the ability to identify and inventory the buzz in our backyards may prove critical in future conservation efforts."--Matthew Bettelheim, (bio)accumulation "[T]his book [is] a useful addition to any gardener or wildlife watcher's library. The really nice thing about this guide is the number and quality of the photographs they provide: I really need to get a copy of this book to help me identify the bumble bees I catch in my surveys."--AC, Wildlife Activist "Accessible to both the layman and serious apiologist. Carefully organized, it begins with an introduction that is a must-read before moving on to the comprehensive bumble bee ID guide... I commend this book to all lovers of native plants."--Harold Smith, Blazing Star, publication of The North American Native Plant Society "This reasonably priced, attractive volume with excellent photographs and color plates will be valuable to professionals as well as anyone interested in identifying or learning more about bumblebees."-- Choice "I encourage all melittologists to obtain a copy for ready use, as well as anyone interested in the conservation, ecology, biology, natural history, or simple appreciation of bumble bees."--Michael S. Engel, Entomologist's Monthly

Back cover copy

"I enjoyed "Bumble Bees of North America" and learned new things that will be useful in my work. This is a lovely book."--Sam Droege, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center "A better team of scientists couldn't have written this amazing new book on bumble bees. Filled with diverse content, it will be popular with its broad audience. Readers will want to get out and find bumble bees, observe them, and learn what they can do to conserve them."--Stephen L. Buchmann, University of Arizona

Table of contents

Introduction 7 Observing Bumble Bees 17 Attracting Bumble Bees 20 Bumble Bee Forage Guide by Ecoregion 22 Maps and Seasonal Activity 29 Bumble Bee Decline and Conservation 31 Threats to Bumble Bees 33 Natural Enemies 35 Mimicry 38 Distinguishing Bumble Bees from Other Insects 42 Bumble Bee Names and Classification 45 How to Use This Book to Identify Bumble Bee Species 48 Species Accounts 51 SQUARE- OR LONG-CHEEKED BEES WITH A ROUNDED ANGLE ON THE MIDLEG - Bombus vosnesenskii 52 - Bombus caliginosus 54 - Bombus vandykei 57 - Bombus impatiens 59 - Bombus bimaculatus 62 - Bombus perplexus 64 - Bombus vagans 67 - Bombus sandersoni 70 - Bombus jonellus 73 - Bombus frigidus 75 - Bombus mixtus 77 - Bombus ternarius 80 - Bombus huntii 82 - Bombus sylvicola 84 - Bombus melanopygus 87 - Bombus bifarius 90 - Bombus centralis 93 - Bombus flavifrons 95 - Bombus sitkensis 98 - Bombus polaris 100 - Bombus balteatus 103 - Bombus neoboreus 105 - Bombus hyperboreus 108 SHORT-CHEEKED BEES WITH A ROUNDED ANGLE ON THE MIDLEG - Bombus terricola 111 - Bombus occidentalis 114 - Bombus cryptarum 117 - Bombus franklini 119 - Bombus affinis 121 - Bombus griseocollis 123 - Bombus morrisoni 126 - Bombus fraternus 128 - Bombus crotchii 130 - Bombus rufocinctus 133 MEDIUM- OR LONG-CHEEKED BEES WITH A SHARP ANGLE ON THE MIDLET - Bombus fervidus 136 - Bombus borealis 139 - Bombus distinguendus 142 - Bombus appositus 144 - Bombus pensylvanicus 147 - Bombus auricomus 150 - Bombus nevadensis 152 HINDLEG (TIBIA) WITH THE OUTER SURFACE UNIFORMLY CONVEX AND DENSELY HAIRY (CUCKOO BUMBLE BEES, NO WORKERS) - Bombus citrinus 155 - Bombus variabilis 157 - Bombus insularis 159 - Bombus bohemicus 161 - Bombus suckleyi 163 - Bombus flavidus 165 Identification Keys to Female and Male Bumble Bees, with Photos 168 Glossary 199 Additional Resources 203 Acknowledgments 204 Photo Credits 206 Index 207