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Jan 30, 2017 2:18 PM

Research says NH now home to 140 different kinds of bees


DURHAM — Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have recently found a sharp increase in the state's native bee population.

Sandra Rehan, assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of New Hampshire, and Erika Tucker, USDA research fellow, have discovered multiple new species of wild bees in the White Mountain National Forest. The new discovery sets 10 new bee records for the state, and three for New England.

In the national forest, scientists discovered a relatively high abundance of the yellow-banded bumble bee (Bombus terricola). They also found one specimen of the golden northern bumble bee (Bombus fervidus). Both of these bumble bees are declining in population in the Northeast and are categorized as vulnerable, according to the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station.

Researchers however, were unable to locate the rusty patch bumble bee (Bombus affinis) or the American bumble bee (Bombus pensylvanicus). The rusty patch bumble bee is the first bee species in the continental United States listed as an endangered species and is thought to be locally extinct.

The survey concluded that the national forest is home to nearly 140 species of bees, with 20 species that had not been documented in the state before now.

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