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The biology and external morphology of bees ; with a synopsis of the genera of northwestern America Public Deposited

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Published November 1969. Facts and recommendations in this publication may no longer be valid. Please look for up-to-date information in the OSU Extension Catalog:  http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog


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  • ENTOMOLOGISTS, BOTANISTS, and AGRICULTURISTS all have occasion to concern themselves with bees. The en-tomologist is fascinated by their complex behavior pat-terns, the botanist needs to evaluate their significance infloral biology, and the agriculturist must take them into account as vital factors in crop production. Finally, the apiculturist often wishes to extend his knowledge of bees beyond the confines of the honey bee. Recent years have seen a revival of interest in bees by all of these groups and, with it, a profusion of taxonomic and bio-logical literature. This interest among scientists has been stimulated by exciting biological and behavioral discoveries, attempts to determine the value of biological information, and a concern in pollinator management by farmers engaged in the production of seed, fruit, and vegetable crops. It is our hope that the following general synthesis of knowledge about bees, with special emphasis on northwestern genera, will be of general interest to many entomologists, botanists, and agriculturists and may have special value as a handbook for workers in the Northwest. The study was prepared so that it would be useful to students for class and field use, and apprise workers of the present state of knowledge in bees so that existing gaps may be more systematically filled. It has also presented an opportunity to speculate on several facets of systematics and ethology. This work reviews present knowledge of the mor-phology and biology of bees in general, but emphasizes northwestern forms and, in many instances, uses themas standards of reference. No attempt is made to systematically cover morphological and biological information for each taxon, although morphological information of particular value for the separation of taxonomic groups is included. The taxonomic treatment does not extend below the generic level and is confined to northwestern forms except for a more comprehensive treatment of families. The Northwest, as here interpreted, includes the area west of the Rocky Mountains, bounded on the south by the latitude 41° N, and extending north to include British Columbia and Alaska. (See the map inside the front cover.) Several genera included in the key have not yet been taken in the above-defined area, but because they are known to occur immediately to the south or east there is a possibility that they may have escaped detection or else that they may soon become members of our bee fauna. No species authors names are cited in the text; rather, they are included in the index at the end of this publication.
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