About Anthophila – an online repository of bee diversity
Bees are among the most important pollinators of flowering plants in most ecosystems. Recent concerns about population declines of both managed and unmanaged bees have highlighted the need for a better taxonomic understanding of native bees to assess the status of pollinators and pollination services. This project focuses on bees of the family Megachilidae, a group of solitary bees that are both ecologically and economically relevant. Many are pollinators of natural, urban, and agricultural environments. The goal of this project is to help diminish such taxonomic impediments by making information on diverse aspects of the biology and systematics of bees accessible to everyone. It will include illustrations, photographs, and diagnosis for each species as well as information on the nesting biology, parasites and distribution. It will also include many important works on these bees as downloadable PDF files. Another goal of this project is to serve as an online portal on the biology and systematics of bees, which will be primarily developed and maintained by the community, for the community. Specialists in diverse fields as well as non-specialists can significantly contribute to this project.