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ARS Home » Plains Area » Brookings, South Dakota » Integrated Cropping Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397631

Research Project: Productive Cropping Systems Based on Ecological Principles of Pest Management

Location: Integrated Cropping Systems Research

Title: A revised checklist of South Dakota bumble bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae)

item MARTENS, ABIGAIL - South Dakota State University
item JOHNSON, PAUL - South Dakota State University
item Roeder, Karl
item Beckendorf, Eric
item Daniels, Jesse
item Hesler, Louis

Submitted to: Journal of Hymenoptera Research
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/18/2022
Publication Date: 12/20/2022
Citation: Martens, A.P., Johnson, P.J., Roeder, K.A., Beckendorf, E.A., Daniels, J.D., Hesler, L.S. 2022. A revised checklist of South Dakota bumble bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Journal of Hymenoptera Research. 94:271–286.

Interpretive Summary: Bumble bees are economically important, charismatic, large, and conspicuous pollinators that have been understudied across most of South Dakota. Here we address this knowledge gap by updating the last known state checklist that was published almost 100 years prior. We compiled historical bumble bee records from 1891 to 2021 from 23 institutional insect collections and two community-science observational databases. In doing so, we report that there are 29 known species of bumble bees with specimens or observations from >90% of South Dakota counties. Unfortunately these data are not distributed evenly across the state as most records originate near population centers or tourist attractions like the Black Hills/Badlands. Yet the majority of Bombus species (~66%) have been collected or observed in the past two years, including six of the nine species of conservation concern. Data are still lacking though as fewer than five species have been seen in ~55% of counties. We suggest future efforts should focus on under sampled areas to fill in baseline knowledge of South Dakota's wild bee fauna.

Technical Abstract: Several bumble bee species are declining and efforts to conserve populations will be strengthened by an improved knowledge of their geographic distribution. Knowledge gaps exist, however, especially in central portions of North America. Here we report 29 species of bumble bees (Bombus Latreille) from South Dakota in the north-central USA, based on 130 years of records from 1891 to 2021. Specimens or observations were available for >90% of the 66 counties, though they were not distributed evenly as the majority of records came from Pennington, Lawrence, Custer, Brookings, and Day Counties. The five most commonly collected or reported bumble bee species were B. griseocollis (54 counties), B. pensylvanicus (41 counties), B. fervidus (39 counties), B. huntii (27 counties), and B. bimaculatus (25 counties). Conversely, 20 species were recorded from only 10 or fewer counties. Despite differences in occurrence, 66% of the Bombus species in South Dakota were collected or observed since 2020, including six of the nine species of conservation concern (B. fraternus, B. pensylvanicus, B. fervidus, B. occidentalis, B. terricola, and B. morrisoni). However, the critically endangered B. affinis, B. variabilis, and B. suckleyi have not been collected or observed for over 50 years. While this checklist is the first for South Dakota bumble bees in nearly 100 years, data are still lacking as ~55% of counties had fewer than five species reported. We suggest future efforts should focus on these under-sampled areas to fill in baseline knowledge of the wild bee fauna towards completing a more holistic view of bumble bee distributions across the Great Plains.