Bee Species Inventory Shows Riches of Biodiversity

A new inventory of bee species by researchers at the American Museum of Natural History notes more than 19,200 kinds, more than all species of birds and mammals put together. Among the myriad variations are many bees that do not make honey or live in colonies but are crucial pollinators for plants in their habitats. These less well-known species may prove useful as climate change forces shifts in agriculture systems, and as familiar bees suffer from colony collapse disorder, a phenomenon that has significantly reduced bee numbers in the U.S. The list of bee species is online and linked to maps that show where species live.