There are a *lot* of invasive insects out there, and a new record for the Giant Resin Bee was just submitted for Kansas. It is pretty big (about 1 inch in length/24mm), and was first discovered in North Carolina in 1994.  It’s a solitary Asian bee, and it isn’t known quite how it arrived in the Eastern US.

Like most of the leaf-cutting bees, it is a solitary bee that is a cavity nester, and will only sting when grabbed or squished.

For now, it doesn’t seem to be having much of an impact on native bee populations, other than competing for nesting spaces and food.  Mostly, it seems like people just don’t have enough information to say if it’s having an impact.

Are you sensing a “we don’t know” theme here?

BTW, the report of the bee is published in a new online, open-access journal called ZooKeys, which hopes to speed up and make more available taxonomic info:

“Publishing taxonomic and systematics studies in the digital era faces major challenges and requires new approaches, many of which are currently stimulating spirited discussions amongst taxonomists and systematists. New amendments to the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature are expected to regulate electronic publishing of new taxa and create a standard form for their registration (ZooBank). Responding to a perceived need, this editorial announces establishment of ZooKeys – a new online and print journal in zoological taxonomy and systematics, which aims to quickly respond and adapt to the newest developments in taxonomic publishing.”

Image from Johnny N. Dell, Bugwood.org

Posted by Gwen Pearson

Writer. Nerd. Insect Evangelist. Have you heard the good news? BUGS!

7 Comments

  1. Hey–in random surfing I discovered WordPress has a bee blog!

    http://thebeeblog.wordpress.com/

    I will have to investigate further…..

  2. I see the author of the resin bee paper missed the first records for Michigan from July and August 2007, which were published in the Michigan Entomological Newsletter (http://www.umd.umich.edu/dept/rouge_river/sculpturalis.pdf).

  3. I had a swarm of Apis florea arrive at my flat one day – and a week later they flew off again, leaving the comb with some lavae behind

  4. Look who made the WP front page for Science category! Go bug girl, go!!! :)

  5. I saw these for the first time this summer right in front of the museum. My first thought was to wonder if they were some sort of new invasive. I haven’t had time to try to find out more about them. Thanks mucho.

  6. […] read about bird parasitism here). Bad times for bees it seems. What’s more, we can count with yet another invasive (if only for bee(tle)s, and wasps).. Along with the more or less pessimistic stances, the question […]

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