First-ever tally finds about 465 bee species in Michigan

Posted at 4:58 PM, Dec 06, 2017

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan is home to about 465 bee species, according to a first-ever census that scientists hope will provide information helpful for conserving them.

Michigan State University entomologists spent several years compiling the list from published literature, museum specimens and field observations.

Professor Rufus Isaacs says many of the species are types that most people wouldn’t know about or might not recognize as bees. About 70 percent of bee species nest underground.

Isaacs says the listing will create a baseline that future studies can use to measure bee population trends.

Some bee species have experienced sharp declines in recent years. That’s a big concern because of the crucial job they perform as pollinators of farm crops and wild plants.