Native Pollinator References

The decline of feral and domestic honey bee colonies during the mid-nineties due to Varroa and tracheal mites or to misuse of pesticides in agriculture, has turned the attention of recreational gardeners to attracting and preserving our native bees.  There are a number of steps that each gardener can implement to do this.

1.  Add another 100 nectar and/or pollen producing plants to your property every year (examples of pollen producing plants include sunflowers, cosmos, blanket flowers, and black-eyed susans),

2.. construct and install nest sites for bumblebees and solitary bees,

3.  learn to identify beneficial insects and their nest sites, especially the bees , digger wasps, and hunting wasps.

4.  teach children to love pollinators, with your knowledge and by setting a good example, and finally,

5.  become a keeper yourself --  make your own property into a haven for beneficial creatures.

The purpose of this page is to list references about native pollinators which are available to you through inter-library loan, mailing lists on the internet that you can monitor, and resources to be found on the WWW.

Book List:

ISBN: 0-8160-1992-4 O'Toole, Christopher and Raw, Anthony Bees of the World, 1991 h 192p     This is the easiest and most fascinating read for the beginning hobbyist. 

ISBN: 0-951-02423-x Sladen, F.W.L. The Humble-Bee      This is perhaps the best starter book on bumblebees.

ISBN: 0-521-25975-4 Prys-Jones, Oliver E Bumblebees

Bogatyrev, Dr. Nickolaj, Applied Ecology of Bumblebees, (Novosibirsk, Russia, 2001 - 160pp.) - bilingual

ISBN: 0-870-81621-7 Carol A. Kearns, James D. Thomson  The Natural History of Bumblebees, A Sourcebook for Investigations, Univ. Press of Colorado, 2001

ISBN: 0-444-19733-8 Andrewes, Christopher The Lives of Wasps and Bees

ISBN: 0-720-70252-6 Vesey-Fitzgerald, B. The Worlds of Ants, Bees, and Wasps

Borror, Donald J, Peterson Field Guides - Insects

ISBN: 0-817-22541-2 Ogawa, Hiroshi The Potter Wasp

ISBN: 0-941-13049-5 Crompton, John The Hunting Wasp

Hutchins, Ross E The Carpenter Bee

Krombein, Karl V. Trap-nesting Wasps and Bees

ISBN: 0-472-00118-3 Evans, Howard E. The Wasps

ISBN: 0-844-80560-2 Spoczynska, Joy O The world of the Wasp

ISBN: 0-706-70138-0 Alford, D. V. Bumblebees

Free, JB & Butler, CG Bumblebees

ISBN: 0-674-08581-7 Heinrich, Bernd Bumblebee Economics, 1979, s 245

ISBN: 0-9635841-1-1 Griffin, Brian L. The Orchard Mason Bee, 1993, s 69

ISBN: 0-9635841-3-8 Griffin, Brian L. Humblebee Bumblebee, 1997, s 111

ISBN: 0-472-06515-7 Dunn, Gary A Insects of the Great Lakes Region, 1996, s 324

ISBN: 0-674-81175-5 Michener, Charles D The Social Behavior of the Bees, 1974, h 404

ISBN: 0-521-26236-4 Roubik, D. W. Ecology and Natural History of Tropical Bees, 1989, h/s 514

ISBN: 0-521-25975-4 Prys-Jones, O.E. et al Bumblebees, 2nd Ed, 1991, s 92

ISBN: 0-88192-352-4 Proctor, Michael, et al The Natural History of Pollination, 1996, h 479

ISBN: 0-12-479740-7 Matheson, Andrew et al The Conservation of Bees

ISBN: 1-559-63352-2 Buchmann, Stephen L. et al The Forgotten Pollinators, 1996, h 292

ISBN: 1-559-63475-8 Daily, Gretchen C. Nature's Services: societal dependence on natural ecosystems, h 392

All of the books on the above list can be obtained from your local library. Each of them has an extensive bibliography which will lead serious students to the rest of the literature on these topics.

Internet Mailing Lists:

Bombus-L (Biology of Bumble Bees Discussion Group) Volume is low and discussions between biologists (internationally situated) are usually quite technical in nature. Lurking hobbyists can get an idea of the latest research and listen in on discussions about commercial crop use of bumblebees.   To subscribe, send the message to with SUB BOMBUS-L  in the body of the message. To delete your subscription, send the message to with SIGNOFF BOMBUS-L in the body of the message. To get a list of available archives, send the message INDEX BOMBUS-L

Socinsct-L (Social Insect Biology Research) Volume is low and discussions are usually technical in nature.  Subscribe by mailing with the following words as the sole content of the message body:  Subscribe SOCINSCT-L (your full name)

Bee-L (Honey Bee Biology) Volume is high and discussions are usually about beekeeping.  Subscribe by mailing with the following words as the sole content of the message body: Subscribe BEE-L (your name)

Essential or Interesting Web Sites:

Plants of interest to bumblebees

Construction of Nest-Boxes for Bumblebees

Here are some links to other interesting insect sites found at

The Bumblebee Pages  at   Quite a detailed and clear account of bumblebee biology and natural history (mostly for the common species found in the NE Scotland).    UK branch of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects .

British Entomological and Natural History Site at - This is a commercial site, but has a lot of good information on pollinators and pollination.

Articles about raising bumblebees - "for pleasure and profit".

"A technique for year-round rearing of Bombus terrestris (Apidae Bombini) colonies in captivity" by P. F. Roseler (1985) Apidologie 16(2): 165-170

"Year-round production of Bumble Bee colonies for crop pollination" by C. Van Steemert, A. De Rujiter, J. Van Den Eijnde and J. Van Der Steen (1990) Bee World 71(2): 54-56

"Why bumble bees?" by K. S. Delaplane (1995) American Bee Journal 135:459-460

"Bumble beekeeping: The queen starter box" by K. S. Delaplane (1995) American Bee Journal 135:743-745

"Bumble beekeeping: Inducing queens to nest in captivity" by K. S. Delaplane (1996) American Bee Journal 136:42-43

"Bumble beekeeping: Handling mature colonies, mating queens" by K. S. Delaplane (1996) ABJ 136:105-106

"Helping Bumble Bees with Bombus next boxes" by P. Munn (1998) Bee World Vol. 79, Nr. 1:45-48

"Bumble Bees - For Pleasure and Profit" edited by Andrew Matheson (1996) Internation Bee Research Association, ISBN 0-86098-221-1

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