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19 New Bee Species Discovered by Student

19 New Bee Species Discovered by Student

Jason Gibbs from York University in Toronto discovered 19 new bee species in his study of 84 bee species.† One of the species was found in Toronto on his commute to the university. The bees under his study, known as sweat bees, are very similar to one another, and consequently difficult to distinguish as separate species. DNA bar coding and morphological analysis were two methods employed during his research. Gibbs studied about 10,000 individual bees over four years during his work. He said, “Itís important to identify these species, because if we donít know what bees we have, we canít know what bees weíre losing.” (Source: York University)

Sweat bees visit many plants and pollinate them just like other bees do. They can be smaller than 4mm in length. Sweat bees get their name from the fact they are attracted to the salt in perspiration. Their stings are almost painless, but they can still cause allergic reactions in some individuals.

On his webpage, Gibbs notes metallic sweat bees can be, “Solitary, communal, semisocial, eusocial and socially parasitic.” For his dissertation about sweat bees, he was awarded a prize from York. This fall he will be doing research at Cornell University and focusing on bees from the Eastern United States, and Mexico.

Image Credit: Kathy Keatley Garvey, UC-Davis


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91 comments

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6:27AM PDT on Mar 22, 2013

Interesting thanks.

2:07PM PDT on Jun 6, 2012

Thanks for sharing, great job discovering all the bees.

5:25PM PDT on Jun 4, 2012

thanks

11:59PM PDT on May 23, 2012

Congratulations to Jason Gibbs! Great work!!

7:55PM PDT on May 22, 2012

thanks

10:13AM PDT on May 22, 2012

Good More bee are need.

Reduce/ Less Yellow Jacket Wasp. They (YJW) can ruined vegetables because they stink on vegetables and make more bitter as well as taste like rodent foods.

6:21AM PDT on Apr 30, 2012

Grazie per le informazioni.

10:21AM PDT on Apr 23, 2012

Thanks for the info.

2:41PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Congrats Jason and yay bees.

2:33PM PDT on Apr 19, 2012

Awesome.

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people are talking

thank you we tend to forget at this time of year

Good reminders especially around this time of year.

always feeding birds =)

Thanks for the ideas and always use only real organic butter .

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