Animal pollination is critical for up to 90% of flowering plants (angiosperms) worldwide. Some of the most common pollinators are bees. Given growing concerns about bee declines worldwide, bees have been identified as an important pollinator group in need of long-term monitoring.
The RMBL Bee Collection serves as a valuable resource for research given the RMBL’s strong history of study in pollination biology. Scientists place voucher specimens in the collection and use the Bee Collection as a reference collection or to train students in bee identification. From 2003-2007, at least 15 RMBL projects involved native bees and the collection increased by 70%. The collection contains almost 3000 bee specimens from five of the seven major families (Andrenidae, Colletidae, Halictidae, Apidae, and Megachilidae), mostly from Gunnison, County and surrounding counties in Colorado.
Digitally capturing the RMBL Bee Collection provides an opportunity to make this scientifically valuable collection available to a larger audience, enhances long-term monitoring efforts by georeferencing specimens, and facilitates future research in pollination, evolutionary ecology, and organismal and conservation biology at RMBL.
Before downloading or using any RMBL data, read the RMBL Data Use Agreement.