Submitted to: Systematic Collections of ARS
Publication Type: Government Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: August 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: A description of the U. S. National Pollinating Insects Collection is provided. With over 800,000 specimens of pollinating insects, mostly bees and wasps, the collection represents a valuable resource for studying pollinators in both crop and natural environments. Currently 6850 species of bees are represented in the collection including representatives of most of the bee genera of the world and most of the nearly 4000 species known from the United States. The collection is largely databased at a specimen level with completion of databasing anticipated in 1998. This data will enhance ability to identify and acquire experimental populations of candidate crop pollinators. The collection is utilized by a wide spectrum of users including ARS, systematists, pollination ecologists, and extension offices. Identification services are provided to the public.
Technical Abstract: The U.S. National Pollinating Insects Collection provides the basis for systematic and biological studies on pollinating insects from many parts of the world. The collection was started in 1947 by G.E. Bohart. It has expanded rapidly through acquisitions of biological material and exchanges with other institutions. Bohart contributed many specimens, as have P.F. Torchio, F.D. Parker, V.J. Tepedino, and T. Griswold. Bohart, Parker, and Torchio are now Federal collaborators and have been active in working with the collection and providing new accessions.