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Title: USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States

item Koch, Jonathan
item LOZIER, JEFFREY - University Of Alabama
item Strange, James
item Ikerd, Harold
item Griswold, Terry
item CORDES, NILS - Bielefeld University
item SOLTER, LEELLEN - Illinois Natural History Survey
item STEWART, ISAAC - Black Hawk College
item CAMERON, SYDNEY - University Of Illinois

Submitted to: Biodiversity Data Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2015
Publication Date: 12/30/2015
Citation: Koch, J., Lozier, J., Strange, J.P., Ikerd, H.W., Griswold, T.L., Cordes, N., Solter, L., Stewart, I., Cameron, S.A. 2015. USBombus, a database of contemporary survey data for North American Bumble Bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) distributed in the United States. Biodiversity Data Journal. doi: 10.3897/BDJ.3.e6833.

Interpretive Summary: The purpose of USBombus is to make available data associated with bees of the genus Bombus in the U.S.A. The dataset was developed during a nationwide assessment of bumble bee health and conservation status. The dataset represents a systematic survey that promises to be useful in future investigations of bumble bee ecology, conservation, and policy.

Technical Abstract: This paper describes USBombus, a large dataset that represents the outcomes of one of the largest standardized surveys of bee pollinators (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus) globally. The motivation to collect live bumble bees across the US was to examine the decline and conservation status of Bombus affinis, B. occidentalis, B. pensylvanicus, and B. terricola. The results of the study were published in 2011 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA as “Patterns of widespread decline in North American bumble bees.” In this dataset we have documented a total of 17,930 adult occurrence records across 396 locations and 39 species of Bombus. The geospatial coverage of the dataset extends across 41 of the 50 United States and from 0 to 3500 m a.s.l. Authors and respective field crews spent a total of 512 hours surveying bumble bees from 2007 to 2010. The dataset was developed using SQL server 2008 r2. For each specimen, the following information is generally provided: species name, sex, caste, temporal and geospatial details, Cartesian coordinates, data collector(s), and when available, host plants. This database has already proven useful for a variety of studies on bumble bee ecology and conservation. Considering the value of pollinators in agriculture and wild ecosystems, this large systematic collection of bumble bee occurrence records will likely prove useful for investigations of effects of anthropogenic activities on pollinator community composition and conservation status.