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Bee Researcher Finds Higher Diversity in Dry Areas over Wet Areas
Southwest Region, April 1, 2008
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Robert Minckley, PhD, of the University of Rochester, has been conducting bee research in Southeastern Arizona and Northeastern Sonora for the last several years.  His latest research on bees compared the species diversity in two different temperate regions in North America, one mesic; Carlinville, Illinois and one xeric; the San Bernardino Valley in Sonora, Mexico and Southeastern Arizona, including the San Bernardino National Wildlife Refuge.  He concluded from this research is that there is greater species richness in the xeric (dry) region as compared to the mesic (wet) region.  Both regions have social species, but the xeric region contains more oligolectic species, bees that collect pollen on a particular species of flowering plant.  In the mesic region of North America it was found that social and cleptoparasitic (bees that lay their eggs in other bees' nests) species make up a greater percentage of the species present.  Dr. Minckley believes that more research, particularly into the phylogeny and historical biogeography in combination with ecology of bees and plants will be needed to understand differences of bee faunas.

Contact Info: Martin Valdez, 505-248-6599, martin_valdez@fws.gov



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