Document Type

Peer-Review Article


Bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) were collected at 24 sites chosen to represent the diversity of urban and natural habitats in the Chicago metropolitan area. Species richness was assessed for each site. Patterns of habitat use were inferred from collection records. In urban areas, we collected 33 species, belonging to 15 genera and 5 families. Areas of preserved natural habitat yielded 44 species, in 20 genera, and 6 families. Twenty species were common to both urban areas and areas of preserved natural habitat. Species at each site were ranked by the number of times they were collected. The bees most often collected in urban areas were widely-distributed species documented in other urban areas. Areas of preserved natural habitat harbored a higher richness of species, and the species most-often collected in these areas were native to North America. Urban sites with native plant species harbored significantly more bees than urban sites lacking native vegetation (t-test, two-tailed assuming unequal variances, P < 0.001). In urban areas, native bees were more likely to be captured on native flowers (c2, Yates statistic, P < 0.01). Chicago’s bee fauna is comparable in richness to the bee fauna of other cities which have been surveyed, notably Phoenix, AZ (Mc Intyre and Hostelter 2001), Berkeley, CA (Frankie et al. 2005), and New York City, NY, (Matteson et al. 2008). A comparison of our species list to another, recently-published survey of Chicago bees by Toinetto et al. (2011), revealed only 24 species overlap, from a combined total list of 93 species. The combined species list from these two surveys shares only 44 species in common with the 169 species documented by Pearson (1933) in his extensive survey of Chicago bees.

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