Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Lab fee:


Typically offered:


Since the 1996 publication of The Forgotten Pollinators by Stephen Buchmann and Gary Paul Nabhan, agricultural ecologists and entomologists have striven to better understand the biology of wild bees and bee relationships with both wild and crop plants. Through this course, I propose to introduce students to the accumulated knowledge of wild bee biology and ecology through an examination of bee taxa found throughout the world and also those taxa of significance to Maine’s agricultural and native habitats. The overarching rationale of the course is that by gaining a deepened knowledge of bee biology and ecology, students will better understand the challenges and significance of bee conservation. Through readings, discussion, and lectures we will explore basic bee biology, including evolution, sociality, taxonomy, physiology, and behavior. We will also explore plant/bee interactions with a focus on pollination ecology and bee/floral evolution. Lab time will include learning how to build and manage a bee collection, identification of bee specimens to genus and, for selected genera, to species, and study of bee foraging ecology. The course will include at least one Saturday half-day field trip. Students will be evaluated on: 1) exams, 2) participation in discussion and lab, 3) creation of a bee collection including correct bee identification, and 4) a final project. The final project will be a review paper on a subject of the student’s choosing.


Introductory biology course (Biology: Form and Function).  

Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.