THE BEE COURSE 2023; A Workshop for Conservation Biologists, Pollination Ecologists, & Other Biologists



Southwestern Research Station (SWRS), Portal, Arizona, August 16 – August 26, 2023



Jerome G. Rozen, Jr. (American Museum of Natural History)

Ronald J. McGinley (Roseville, CA, formerly at Smithsonian Institution, Harvard University)

Bryan N. Danforth (Cornell University)


In 2023, we are again offering THE BEE COURSE, a nine-day workshop to be presented at the Southwestern Research Station, near Portal, Arizona. The main purpose of the course is to provide participants with sufficient knowledge and experience to use effectively The Bee Genera of North and Central America by Michener, McGinley, and Danforth, 1994. This book provides well-illustrated keys to all genera of bees found in that geographic region and information about their morphology, distribution, and classification. Persons equipped with the information from this course will be capable of using Charles Michener's magnum opus, Bees of the World, re-published in 2007 by Johns Hopkins University Press. This book deals with the classification, evolution, and distribution of bees on a worldwide basis and presents keys to genera, subgenera, and higher taxa for the entire globe.



THE BEE COURSE is designed primarily for botanists, conservation biologists, pollination ecologists, and other biologists whose research, training, or teaching responsibilities require a greater understanding of bee taxonomy. It emphasizes the classification and identification of more than sixty bee genera of North and Central America (both temperate and tropical), and the general information provided is applicable to the global bee fauna. Lectures include background information on the biologies of bees, their floral relationships, their importance in maintaining and/or improving floral diversity, inventory strategies, and the significance of oligolecty (i.e., taxonomic floral specialization). Field trips acquaint participants with collecting and sampling techniques; associated lab work provides instruction on specimen identification, preparation and labeling.




The field of pollination ecology explores the reproductive biology of plants in general, including the biotic and abiotic agents associated with pollination and seed-set. This is of interest for basic research and understanding of world communities and also has significant practical impact as it relates to pollination of economically important crop plants, to survival of endangered plants, and to plant reproduction in threatened habitats. Pollen is moved between receptive flowers by wind, water, birds, bats, beetles, flies, etc., but the 20,000 species of bees worldwide play a dominant role in the sexual reproduction of most plant communities. This course will empower students with 1) the confident use of The Bee Genera of North and Central America, 2) an appreciation for the biological diversity of bees, and 3) sufficient background to learn more about bees and investigate pollination and conservation problems with greater insight.



American Museum of Natural History and Cornell University



THE BEE COURSE was presented for the first time in 1999 at the SWRS, and two similar workshops, held in Mexico in 1985 and 1986, involved many current instructors. The Southwestern Research Station is centered amid the richest bee fauna in North America, and its collections include exemplars of almost all of the local bee fauna. This is an ongoing course, offered annually.



THE BEE COURSE is open to all interested individuals. Priority will be given to those biologists for whom the course will have significant impact on their research and/or teaching. An entomological background is not required. THE BEE COURSE, presented in English, is limited to 24 participants.


Course Tuition Fee: $1200

Partial Tuition Waivers: For accepted students traveling from the U.S. and Canada there are a limited number of partial waivers in the amount of $600.  Only accepted students with NO institutional support will be considered for the partial waivers.  

Ability to pay full tuition will enhance an applicant's chance of acceptance.

Total Tuition Waivers: Students traveling from outside the U.S. and Canada who do not have institutional support are eligible for a total waiver of tuition fees.


Station Fees (Room & Board): $720 payment is required by all students.


Transportation Costs: Students are responsible for their own transportation costs between home and the Tucson Airport, where we will take you to SWRS, or between home and SWRS by car or bus. 



Dr. Eduardo A.B. Almeida

Departamento de Biologia

FFCLRP - Universidade de São Paulo (USP)

Av. dos Bandeirantes, 3900

14040-901 Ribeirão Preto, SP


Dr. Silas Bossert

Department of Entomology 

Washington State University 

Pullman, WA 99164-6382 

Dr. Stephen L. Buchmann

Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

The University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona 85721

Dr. Bryan Danforth

Dept. of Entomology Cornell University

3124 Comstock Hall

Ithaca, NY 14853

Dr. Jason Gibbs

Assistant Professor

Department of Entomology

Curator J.B. Wallis / R.E. Roughley Museum of Entomology

University of Manitoba

12 Dafoe Rd., Entomology Bldg. Rm. 223

Winnipeg, MB, Canada

R3T 2N2

Dr. Terry L. Griswold

USDA-ARS Bee Biology & Systematics Lab

Utah State University

Logan, UT 84322-5310

Dr. Olivia Messinger Carril

19 Avenida De La Paz 

Santa Fe, NM 87540

Dr. Robert Minckley

Department of Biology

446 Hutchison Hall

University of Rochester

Rochester, NY 14627

Past Instructors and Assistants