The Canadian Bumble Bee Course

Date: March 14, 2018 – March 16, 2018
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Place: REGINA | Royal Saskatchewan Museum

$350 / person


There has been a growing interest in bumble bees, whether as subjects for academic research, conservation concerns, and general interest.  With the launch of many citizen science programs in recent years, this interest is likely to continue. However, the ability to accurately identify bumble bees, especially in the field and/or from photographs, remains a daunting task for most. Even with the recent publication of a field guide for North America, species-level identification of bumble bees can be challenging.

The Canadian Bumble Bee Course aims to provide participants with the skills required to accurately identify bumble bees found in Canada. In addition to providing a general overview of the life history of bumble and cuckoo bumble bees, participants will learn how to collect and prepare bumble bee specimens for identification, and be introduced to the morphology and terminology used to identify bumble bees with a microscope. This will include learning how to expose and/or remove male genitalia for examination, and working through keys to species level. These skills, combined with discussion of macro-morphology, will then be applied to identifying bees in the field (from photos).

The Canadian Bumble Bee Course will be offered at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina, Saskatchewan.  Microscopes, field guides, and other course materials will be provided. Participants are encouraged to bring their own specimens, though specimens will also be provided to practice dissection and preparation. The three-day course can accommodate ten participants per offering, and targets professionals and graduate students that may require bumble bee identification stills, but may accommodate others with a desire to identify bumble bees.