Terminology and Glossary

Mason Bee House vs. Mason Bee Condo; Blue Orchard Bee vs. Orchard Mason Bee; Hatch vs. Emergence...etc.

Let's start off with some of the differences in terminology.
We've noticed that this is mostly a geographically associated thing that people adopt depending upon where they are exposed to the word first. In the United States and Canada, there exist examples of terminology differences. Here's a couple of them.

We've noticed that a lot of people refer to orchard mason bees (Canada) as blue orchard bees (U.S.A.). Either way, doesn't matter because we're talking about the same organism, which is really Osmia lignaria. Unless you're starting to divide them by subspecies such as Osmia lignaria lignaria (Say) or Osmia lignaria propinqua Cresson. Thanks to Mr. Say and Cresson, the species were divided at one point, or maybe we should blame the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature for this. They all belong to the collective term of bees called, Mason Bees which means they use some form of masonry work to divide their cells, be it mud, pebbles, wood etc.

Also, there's a difference in domatia provided for our bees - condo vs. house. Let's check the dictionary and see if you agree with our preferential term. We'll even use an American dictionary - Webster's.
Condo - short for condominium; joint dominion or sovereignty by two or more individuals within the same structure or building.
House - a building that serves as living quarters for one or a few families.
So given that our bees are non-social or solitary bees, wouldn't it make more sense to call their "nest box" as condos instead of houses since they aren't socialising with one another? Either way works. It's just part of the charm.

(glossary from my book that has yet to be published)


abdomen – the “tail” end section of the three major body divisions; the others consisting of the head and thorax; it is made up of 6 segments in females, and 7 segments in males; also known as the metasoma.

abiotic – non-living; referring to abiotic pollination such as wind.

aculeata – a subphylum within the Hymenoptera that has a constriction between thorax and abdomen and equipped with a stinger.

antenna – two appendages on head above mouthparts; used for sensing chemicals around the bees; 12 segments in females and 13 segments in males.

antennal socket – the direct orifice on the face of the bee found between the eyes and above the mouth.

anterior – in front of; toward the forward or head end of bees.

anterior radius – the branching vein off the radius vein in the forward wing; divides after the basal vein; forms the vein between the marginal cell and the submarginal cells.

anthophile – “flower-lovers”, is the direct translation but it refers to any organism that visits flowers by choice.

apiformes – a loose grouping of the bee division between superfamily Apoidea and the families to separate out the spheciformes or wasps closely related to the bees.

apoidea – a superfamily of stinging hymenoptera equipped with pronotal extensions and tegula in the thorax.

arcuate – an arched shape vein in the fore wing of some bee genera useful for identification; found in basal veins for Lasioglossum and Halictus and 2nd recurrent vein of Colletes.

arolium – a flap-like extension between the claws at the end of the tarsal segments of some bee genera.

arthropoda – “jointed” and “foot”, which are the group of animals that have exoskeletons made up of plate-like segments; includes arachnids, crustaceans, centipedes etc.

axilla – associated with the scutellum on top of the thorax and near where the hind wing attaches
basal vein
– a prominent vein in the fore wing that branches off from the radius vein near the stigma

basitarsus – (plural – basitarsi) an enlarged leg segment found after the tibia; first part of the tarsal segments; bees have larger basitarsi than the other tarsal segments, wasps don't.

basitibial plate – a “knee-cap” like covering near the joint between the femur and tibia on the hind leg of some bee species.

bi-nomial name – the scientific name of organsims with genus followed by species; Latin or Greek in spelling.

buzz-pollination – the release of pollen from the anther by some bees that actually grasp the anther and filament and buzz their thorax and wings at a particular frequency for the anther to shake loose the pollen

carina – a defined ridge, keel or raised line found on the anterior face of the first abdominal segment on some bee genera; used to differentiate Osmia from Hoplitis in this book; in dead specimens, the abdomen has to be bent down from the thorax to see the carina

cleptoparasite – a parasite associated specifically with solitary bees; other solitary bees that steal the provisioned cell provided by their host bee.

clypeus – the lower part of the face of bees below the antennae and above the mouthparts; between the frons and the labrum.

compound eye – the large viewing eyes of bees made up of many facets of hexagonal elements; some species of bees have hairs on their eyes useful in identification.

corbicula – a hairless patch surrounded by curved stiff hairs used for transporting pollen; on the hind tibia of bumble and honey bees and on the sides of the propodeum of Andrena bees; plural is corbiculae.

corolla – the ring of petals in a flower.

costa – the thick, longitudinal vein at the leading edge, or anterior edge, of the bee's wing.

coxa – the first trunk-like structure of each leg that attaches to the thorax; plural is coxae.

diapause – a state of suspended metabolism in insects similar to hibernation but performed during anytime of the year and for any length of time; for most of our native bee species, this is over the winter or for two years depending on the species of bee.

distal – going outwards or away from the centre of the body plane; opposite to proximal.

drone – a male bee capable of sexually mating with a queen; an unfertilized egg becomes a male bee; usually associated with social hive bees such as bumble bees and honey bees.

Dufour's gland – a special gland in the abdomen of female bees which produces a variety of chemicals used to line nest cells in several species of ground nesting bees.

elicit – to produce or emit, usually products coming out of a bee's gland.

episternum – the thoracic segment directly behind the pronotum but along on either side of the thorax; mid leg coxae are on the lower edge of the episternum.

eusocial – truly social or the highest form of sociality in bees; honey bees exhibit this behaviour but bumble bees and some halictid bees can be considered almost completely eusocial.

evicerate – to get rid of or expel as in the venom sack being evicerated by honey bees when the barbed stinger can't be pulled out from its victim.

femur – the leg section between the trochanter and the tibia.

flagellum – the smaller segments of the antennae after the scape and pedicel; plural is flagellae; females have 10 segments and the males have 11; individual flagellae segments can also be longer than the female's flagellae.

fore wing – the anterior or front wings of the paired wings in bees.

founded – to start or create a nest; usually referred to hive bees as in bumble bees.

fovea – a depressed region usually associated with the face of some native bees, especially Andrena.

frons – the “face” of the bee between the eyes and above the clypeus; usually contains the ocelli at the vertex.

genus – the taxonomic grouping of organisms within the family level; plural genera; half of the bi-nomial scientific name that goes with species;

glabrous – a body surface without any hairs.

glossa – proper term for tongue; plural glossae.

hamuli – the hooks on the leading edge of the hind wing that hooks into the accommodating part of the trailing edge of the fore wing so the pair of wings can become one large plane for flight efficiency.

hibernacula – a dwelling where organisms conceal themselves for over wintering, hibernating or going through a diapause state until conditions improve; bumble bees dig themselves a hibernacula underground during the winter.

hind wing – the posterior or back wings of the paired wings in bees.

hymenoptera – one of the 26 orders of insects that include the ants, wasps and bees;

instar – the stages of life between each moulting of exosksleton that insects undergo as they grow and expand in size.

jugal lobe – a lobed section of the hind wing that is on the trailing edge and originates at the base of the wing; attached behind the vannal lobe; most bees have this lobe except for bumble bees.

keirotrichia – an area on the inner surface of the tibia of the hind leg that has a patch of hairs that are used for cleaning the wings.

lancet – a blade; referring to the flattened barbed stinger of the honey bee.

labium – the lower lip of the bee mouth parts.

larva – the immature feeding stage of bees that often looks worm like; plural larvae; undergoes moults between instar stages; between egg and pupa.

lek – a common display area for several males to draw attention from females when the males are vying for female's attention for prospective mating

localised – isolated in geographic pockets and not uniformly spread out over a wide area.

mandibles – jaw parts of the bee mouth used in identification for some bee genera.

mass defecate – a period of excretion exhibited by larvae, usually in the final instar stage when they develop a complete gut system with an anus.

mass provisioning – the entire food source for bee offspring on an individual basis enclosed within a single cell with one egg laid in association with it.

maxilla – paired secondary mouth parts just behind the mandibles.

melittologist – a person who studies bees.

metamorphosing – the stage between pupa and adult as the bee morphs or changes to a full adult, absorbing and altering cells; a mysterious and complicated process still not fully understood how it happens.

metanotum – the thoracic segment that lies between the scutellum and the propodeum along the top surface of the thorax

metasoma – another term for the abdomen

monolectic  feeding from a single species of flower

moult – the shedding of exoskeleton between each stage of growth in insects; stages between mounts in larval development is called the instars.

mutual tolerance – solitary bees that tolerate an adjacent bee when working in a relatively small area; they is no shared work for nest building, nor is there division of labour

naturalised – non native species that are introduced to a new location that become well established and sustainable over a long period of time

nectary – locations in a flower where nectar accumulates for anthophiles to feed on; can be deep within the corolla or on the lip of a petal

ocelli – the three simple eyes that do not form images but do sense light; found at the vertex of the frons on the head of bees

olfactory – the capability to smell or “taste” the air; bees use the antennae for this

oligolectic – feeding from a few closely related species of flowers, usually in the same genus

orographic – clouds that are laden with moisture have to release this moisture in the form of precipitation in order to rise over land mass in the cloud's path, causing a rain shadow on the lee side of the land mass

ovipositor – an egg-laying apparatus that only females have; doubles as a stinger in bees which is why male bees can't sting

parapsidial line – small suture lines found about the middle of the scutum of some megachlid bees used in identification

pedicel – the first segment joint of the antennae coming off the scape

petal – main coloured organ of a flower's corolla; scented and often marked with orientation and direction lines for bees to locate nectar sources of flower; protects sexual organs of flower and can close up at times

phoretic – the act of hitching a ride on another animal; mites do this on bees in order to get access to nest cells and other adult bees

pollen larceny – the “theft” of pollen from a flower by a bee, without the bee having to go through the opening offered by way of the petals, instead chewing its way through the corolla of the flower from the outside directly to the source of pollen; some bees can also steal nectar this way

polylectic – feeding from a wide variety of flowers

posterior – towards the hind or rear of a body part

plumose hairs – hairs that bees have that are not a single filament instead being split, divided or with spatulated blades

progressive provisioning – food for bee offspring that is fed continuously throughout the larval stages of bee development by direct mouth-to-mouth feeding or by trophylaxis

pronotal lobe – extensions on the sides of the pronotum that is featured in conjunction with the tegula, to separate bees from wasps

pronotum – the first exoskeletal plate of the thorax where the head attaches

propodeum – the last segment of the thorax where it joins to the abdomen; actually, this is considered the first joint of the abdomen that is attached to the thorax but it looks like part of the thorax; it's where the wasp-waist appearance comes from

proximal – close to the body or at the base; opposite to distal

pupa – the stage of development where the metamorphosing takes place in a bee; stage between larva and adult

pygidial plate – the flat area extending from the sixth upper abdominal segment of females and seventh in males; used by some female bee species when lining their nest with glues or coatings to protect the offspring and its food source

quasisocial – a social behaviour exhibited by some solitary bees that loosely cooperate in some acts of labour where the bees are not related to each other

radial sector – Rs; the posterior of the two main branches of the radius vein

radius – R; a major wing vein directly behind the leading edge costa (C) in the forewing

scape – the basal segment joint of the antennae; the long protruding segment from the head of the bee that the pedicel attaches to

sclerotized jaws – a hardened pair of jaws that some cleptoparasitic bee larvae are equipped with in order to kill the host bee's egg or larva in the occupied nest cell; often lost after the first couple of instar larva levels

sepal – the outer leaf-like “petals” of the flower that protect the early bud development; can be coloured to work in conjunction with the petals for attraction

scopa – the brush-like areas on the underside of the abdomen, or sides of abdomen and thorax, or the femur area of the legs in some bee species, used for carrying pollen

scutellum – shield shaped exoskeleton plate aft of the scutum and before the metanotum

scutum – the large segment on the top of the thorax between the wings; between the pronotum and the scutellum

second recurrent vein – 2m-cu; the vein immediately below the outer submarginal crossvein; strongly arcuate in the Colletes

solitary – not social and working as an individual without help from others

species – the kind of precise being that an organism is; interbreeds with one another to produce offspring and not ordinarily with other species; the latter half of the scientific bi-nomial name

spermathaeca – an organ female bees have for storing sperm after mating; they can choose to elicit and mix sperm with an egg while ovipositing in order to sex the offspring

spheciformes   a loose grouping of the wasp division after the superfamily Apoidea used to separate out the apiformes or bees closely related to the wasps.

spiracles – the holes or openings in the bee's exoskeleton for the respiration system called the trachea

sternum – the underside segments of the abdomen

stigma – the thickened dark coloured spot or cell(s) in the fore wing just behind the costal cell along the leading edge

stomata – the respiration openings on the surface of leaves for direct oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange; similar to the spiracles on insects exoskeleton

strigilis – the grooved hairy area between the femur and tibia in some bee's fore legs used for running their antennae through for cleaning

submarginal cells – the two or three cells of the fore wing immediately behind the marginal cell

submarginal crossveins – veins running between the radial sector vein (Rs) and the first and second recurrent veins (1st and 2nd m-cu) forming the submarginal cells

tarsi – the segments of the leg beyond the tibia consisting of four segments; plural of tarsus

tegula – scale-like cover or plate that overlies the base of the fore wing; the particular shape is used in bee genera identification

tergum – the upper or top segments of the abdomen

thorax – the middle body section in insects where the legs and wings are attached

tibia  – the leg segment between femur and tarsi segments (basitarsus)

tibial spur – spine or spines that protrude from the tibia of the hind leg in some bee species; honey bees do not have these

tracheal system – the internal respiration system insects use for breathing

trochanter – the small leg segment between the coxa and the femur

tumulus – the ring of loose excavated earth at the rim of the bee's nest tunnel; not all species of ground nesting bees leave a tumulus

usurpation – the act of taking over another solitary bee's nest and replacing her by continuing to provide provisioning and laying their own egg

vannal lobe – a large flap on the back edge of the hind wing preceding the jugal lobe (if equipped)

vertex – the top part of the frons on the head of bees where the ocelli are present

Basal vs. apical abdominal banding in Halictus and Lasioglossum genera of bees. Tegulae differences in some bee genera.

Antennae differences between males and females. Also, a sample of pygidial plate found on some bees. Top and side view of thorax showing placement of tegula, scuttum, scutellum, etc.

Basitarsae showing scopal hairs vs. corbicula hair patterns. Facial fovea and subantennal sutures of Andrena genera of bees.

Fore and hindwings of different bee genera. The different placement of wing veins and cells, are instrumental in the taxonomic classification of different bee families, genera and species. The second from the top wing is the hindwing that fits in and connects with the trailing edge of the forewing above it. The hamuli at the leading edge of the hindwing can be seen where it "velcroes" on to the trailing edge of the forewing.
The different hindwings have different jugal lobes on their trailing edges.

Hindwings with different vein patterns. Terminus of abdomen (tergum) showing pygidial plate.

Strigilis in fore leg of some bees; axilla on scuttum of Coelioxys, a genera of cuckoo or robber bee - a cleptoparasite; different subantennal suture arrangements; different tongue lengths/types between bee genera - Colletes has short, broad tongues compaired to Anthophora or other genera that have elongated glossae, or tongues.


From the bee listserve I belong to, here's some valuable correspondence from Peter Bernhardt to do with a discussion we had about scientific binomial names and the public's want of vernacular or "common" names.
Peter has asked that I also include the following link http://books.google.com/books?id=sKgWkCGTO6YC&pg=PT89&source=gbs_toc_r&cad=4#v=onepage&q&f=false for the book "Gods and Goddesses in the Garden".
Peter wrote:
Our colleagues may now feel exhausted by this scientific name/common name exchange.  Let's review the issues on which we seem to agree.

1) When dealing with insect identification scientific names are ALWAYS preferred to common for the simple reason that there are so many insect species.  The American public should learn the scientific names if they are interested in pollination and pollinators.
2)  The American public resists learning scientific names.  The infrastructure used to teach the basics of taxonomy in public schools does not exist any longer.  
3)  Inventing common names for "target species" has been suggested by some authorities when the public resists binomials.  4) Standardizing common names, though, seems dubious, once again, because there are often dozens or hundreds of lookalikes in the same lineage.  It's far easier to employ a common name if the public refuses to use a genus name (e.g. leaf cutter bee instead of Megachile).

Now let's review the issues on which we don't quite agree and ask the BIG question.  How do we convince interested gardeners and land owners to use scientific names?

1)  Based on past experience I suggested breaking down the scientific name when presenting it to the public.  People are more likely to learn the name if they know what it means.  People learn and feel comfortable with an atypical situation when they feel they have been enabled.  Do more people watch german and italian operas now when someone gives the lyrics subtitles?  I mention this as I finally watched "The Ring of the Niebulungen (spelling?) last night from the Met.  It was subtitled (Go Wotan!).
2)  Doug doesn't think this technique is very useful since so many insect binomials mean absolutely nothing.  If this is true, I consider this a professional failing on the part of zoological taxonomists and it should stop.  On the other hand, what if most of these names really have meaning, as we learned in the case of Melissodes? Could most of these names be translated if entomologists had access to to their own greek-latin lexicons?  We botanists have several and tend to refer to the various editions of William Stearn's "Botanical Latin." 
3)  If every species is unique should any species be represented by a string of gibberish or sets of numbers? 
4)  If translating scientific names for the interested public doesn't work could someone suggest a superior technique for making binomials cool?  There's always the prospect of making it competitive and providing a reward.  See E.O. Wilson's description of his university days in his book "Naturalist."  One of his professors insisted you couldn't be a scientist unless you memorized a certain number of scientific names.
5)  Should NAPPC join other like-minded organizations to lobby for reintroduction of basic Taxonomy in American Public Education?   It won't be cool if you have to learn it but more will learn it anyway.