Moritz Stefaner put together a very interesting infographic for Scientific American which succinctly illustrates a variety of wild bee statistics for Carlinville, Ill. At a glance you can see many types of bees have disappeared and that foraging behaviour has drastically changed in the last 120 years.
This doc offers a quick glimpse into the tradition of collecting honey from Apis Laboriosa the giant bee which live exposed on large combs under over hanging rock on the side of cliffs in Nepal.
Very interesting to get a sense of bee culture in very different circumstances than I'm accostomed to, even if the emphasis seems to be a little to heavy on Jimmy's experience rather than that of Nepal honey hunters.
In his book Laurence Packer provides a good overview of the complexity of the challenges all types of bees are currently facing, what this problem means for humans, and how we can help. The book is also intermixed with some fascinating tales from a life of chasing after bees around the world. Well worth the read.
A lecture on the different types of wild bees:
Here's a brief overview by Laurence on creating pollinator friendly backyards:
Early spring 2011 I walked right past the nesting grounds of what I now believe could be cellophane bees or colletes inaequalis. They were flying very rapidly around some loose sandy soil on a steep forest slope, so without taking a good look I just assumed they were flies.
It was only when I looked at the blooms of the freeman maple standing at the top of the slope that I realized what was happening.