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UNH Researchers Document 140 Species of Bee, Work to Improve Documentation and Conservation

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Sam Droege
/
USGS
In the national forest, scientists found a relatively high abundance of the yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola), a species listed by U.S. Fish and Wildlife as a species of greatest conservation need.

Through an effort following the University of New Hampshire’s Bee BioBlitz in 2015, researchers at UNH have recently documented over 140 species of bee in the White Mountain National Forest. Among the species researchers identified, two are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need in New Hampshire. There are four species on this "greatest need" list. 

UNH assistant professor and researcher Sandra Rehan is hopeful that those other two species can be found in New Hampshire. She says bee populations haven't been well-documented until now. 

“Our understanding of bee populations is so poor,” she says. “But we’re hoping to better document what species are in decline or at risk so we can better protect any other threatened species.”

Rehan says this is just the beginning of a long term effort to document bee species and population in the state. She says more thorough documentation also should help determine which habitats and conditions help bees survive.