0317 The National Collection of Pollinating Insects-Understanding bee diversity to alleviate a pollination crisis

Wednesday, December 15, 2010: 10:00 AM
California (Town and Country Hotel and Convention Center)
Rosalind James , Office of National Program, USDA - ARS, Beltsville, MD
Terry Griswold , Pollinating Insects Research Unit, USDA - ARS, Logan, UT
Bees are a highly diverse group of insects that are critical for the pollination of many crops and native plants. A pollination crisis has been looming on the horizon, exemplified by the recent high mortalities experienced by honey bees during the winter, and the recent extinction or near extinction of some bumble bee species. The ARS National Collection of Pollinating Insects serves as a resource to better understand what is happening to pollinators, and to find solutions to pollination needs. A database associated with the collection provides information needed to identify good candidate species for developing as new commercial pollinators, based on the plants that they occur on, the times of year the adults are active, and the phylogenetic relationship to other bees that are easily managed or associated with a particular crop. In addition, the collection serves as a physical repository for genetic studies of bees. When combined with other research, the resources of the collection are helping to maintain our native bees as a natural resource and to develop some of this resource to the benefit of agriculture and those who enjoy good food.

doi: 10.1603/ICE.2016.46730