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Hive and Seek: Domestic Honeybees Keep Disappearing, but Are Their Wild Cousins in Trouble, Too? [Slide Show]

Is colony collapse disorder just the visible part of a "global pollinator crisis"? The answer is surprisingly murky. To help answer the question, scientists have created an inexpensive, nationwide wild bee monitoring program

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13. Squash Bees

These bees rely on plants in the squash family (including pumpkins, watermelons and gourds) for several parts of their life cycle. Squash flowers provide Peponapis mating territories, sleeping places for males, and pollen and nectar for young.....[ More ]

12. Small Leaf Cutters

Osmia count as important pollinators of fruit crops such as apple, cherry, pear and plum. In pollinating an acre of apple trees, just 250 Osmia bees can do the job of 10,000 to 25,000 honeybees. Osmia semillima, from the  Packer Collection  at York University....[ More ]

11. Masked Bees

A Hylaeus bee does not carry pollen or nectar externally, as other bees do; instead, it hides it in its crop. The only genus of bees native to Hawaii, they also turn up in other parts of North America.....[ More ]

10. Long-Horns

Eucerine males often have very long antennae. Cemolobus ipomoeae, from the USGS  Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory ....[ More ]

09. Carpenters

These bees bore into wood to create nests. In some species of small carpenter bees ( Ceratina ), daughters or sisters may cooperate to raise the next generation. The genus contains a few unusual species that can reproduce without males in a process called parthenogenesis.....[ More ]

08. Leaf Cutters

Megachile bees use their large mandibles to chop up leaves and flowers to use in nest-building. Megachile relativa, from the  Packer Collection  at York University....[ More ]

07. Bumble Bees

The buzz of these insects vibrates flowers into releasing their pollen. Bumblebees are one of a handful of native bees that form colonies, boast a queen and can grow to populations numbering around a thousand.....[ More ]

06. Honey Bees

Honeybees ( Apis mellifera ) pollinate crops commercially. Populations have tanked for decades, causing much concern for this exotic species. An import from Europe, they often cannot pollinate as efficiently as native New World bees.....[ More ]

05. Wool Carders

Female Anthidium bees have five or more sharp teeth that they use to harvest hairs from the leaf surface, which they use to build their nests. Anthidium manicatum,   from the  Packer Collection  at York University....[ More ]

04. Miners

Anthophora bees dig tunnels in soil. Some species' tongues can extend up to 2.5 centimeters in length, longer than the rest of their bodies, allowing them to pollinate deep flowers. In some species, several males snooze on the same flower, clasping the plant with their jaws.....[ More ]

03. Sweat Bees

Human sweat is nectar for sweat bees, and they slurp it up for its salt content. Agapostemon sweat bees show off their flashy green and blue colors. Some species nest communally: up to 24 females will share a nest but raise their offspring independently.....[ More ]

02. Cuckoos

Several bee genera—including Nomada , Sphecodes and Coelixys —are klepto-parasites, more alluringly known as "cuckoo bees." Instead of collecting pollen to provide for their young, cuckoos lay their eggs in other bees' nests.....[ More ]

01. Polyester Bees

Colletes bees are nicknamed "polyester bees" because they enclose their broods in a cellophanelike material that keeps out water and fungi. Colletes mitchilli, from the USGS  Native Bee Inventory and Monitoring Laboratory ....[ More ]

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