New York City Bee Information

City Bees Newly Discovered, Yet Here All AlongNew York Times blog about new sweat bee discovery Lasioglossum gotham by Erik Olsen (2011).

New Bee Species Discovered in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden! inhabitat New York City blog by Lori Zimmer (2011).

Bees and the CityNew York Times Op Ed (2011).

Entomologist John Ascher of the American Museum of Natural History on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show discusses the recent bee swarms in New York City and Colony Collapse Disorder (2008). 

One of our very own Bee Watchers, Lesley Meurer, office manager at the Greenbelt Nature Center, is featured in a local newspaper (2009).

Interactive website offering information on urban ecosystems and the pollinators of New York City. Also includes details on insect anatomy and life cycles.   


Dandelion and Bee (Kevin Matteson)
 –  This video shows bees visiting a dandelion flower.  

Ground-nesting Bees (Kevin Matteson)
 – This video was taken in a small garden on City Island in the Bronx. The bees are plasterer bees that build nests in the soil. Females tend to nest in aggregations although each individual has her own hole, within which larva develop. The species is Colletes thoracicus (Colletidae).

Honey bee swarm in Lefferts Manor, Brooklyn (shared by Timothy Forker)

PDFs and Handouts

Bee Watchers Bee Fact Sheet – contains general information about bees

Honey Bee Disappearance and What You Can Do (NAAPC)

Plants Attractive to Native Bees (USDA)

Better with Bees – discusses the benefits of bees in urban gardens

Home-Made Sweet Homes– How to create nest sites for bees (USDA Forest Service) 

More on Native Pollinators

NPR interview with entomologist Stephen Buchmann, co-author of The Forgotten Pollinators, in honor of pollinator week (2009).

National Wildlife magazine article about native pollinators (2009).

Great Pollinator Project coverage in NPR Science Friday and The New York Academy of Sciences (2009).

An interesting page on the U.S. Forest Service Celebrating Wildflowers website on pollinator syndromes, the co-evolved physical characteristics that make plants and their pollinators interact successfully.

The role of native bees in apple pollination.  See link for research details. For popular article on same research see: Native bees are better pollinators, more plentiful than honeybees, finds entomologist. (2011).

The Pollinator bibliographic database includes more than 10,000 references about pollination biology, an invaluable resource. Developed and maintained by David Inouye.

Insect and Bee Conservation Organizations

The Xerces Society is the leader in invertebrate conservation, and their site has many resources of value to those interested in preserving bees. 

North American Pollinator Protection Campaign — a collaborative effort by scientists, researchers, conservationists, government officials, and volunteers to raise pollinator-related issues, and to benefit the health of all species, particularly those most threatened.

Pollinator Partnership works to protect the health of managed and native pollinating animals vital to North American ecosystems and agriculture. Among the wealth of information on the P2 website are ecoregional planting guides for pollinators. 

Gardening for Pollinators

Delaware Native Plants for Native Bees (USDA-NRCS and Delaware Department of Agriculture: technical bulletin).

National Wildlife Federation’s Gardening for Wildlife – Attracting Butterflies – Includes background information on butterflies, how they pollinate, which flowers they are attracted to, and a list of common butterfly names paired with the plants they eat.

Michigan State University – Enhancing Beneficial Insects with Native Plants – Includes a wealth of information including publications and power point presentations on native plants, pollinators and other beneficial insects, and farms. 

Urban Bee Gardens—This UC Berkeley research group website provides a wealth of practical information about native bees and gardening.

Honey Bees

The Bee Works—Provides information about beekeeping, including requeening, feeding methods, and how to determine the hybridization of a colony through morphometry, as well as beekeeping equipment available for purchase.

Discover magazine article on colony collapse syndrome (2009).

Time magazine article, The Plight of the Honeybee (August 2013).

Butterflies and Moths

North American Butterfly Association – promotes butterfly observation and gardening for butterflies. See North Jersey Chapter websitefor local and regional activities.

The Lepidopterists’ Society – devoted to the study and conservation of butterflies and moths.