David Walter, an entomologist working at the Royal Alberta Museum and operator of the blogs The Home Bug Garden and Macromite, has been featured in the Edmonton Journal. Or, at least , a bee he has recently identified has been featured:
(August 19, 2011) EDMONTON — A buzz is circulating, giving new hope to local bug experts. A species of bumblebee, Bombus moderatus, has been spotted in backyards across Edmonton.
The fuzzy pollinator has a distinctive white bottom, and usually prefers northern and mountainous regions. Although typically found in Banff, northern B.C., the Yukon and Alaska, it was first discovered in Edmonton this summer.
David Walter, a scientist at the Royal Alberta Museum, said he first stumbled upon the species when his friend spotted a bumblebee under his deck.
“He never noticed them before,” Walter said. “I did some research and figured out what it was.”
Walter later saw one flying in his yard.
“I had to see it in my own backyard to believe it,” he said with a laugh.
The fuzzy bee is Bombus moderatus Cresson, the white-tailed bumblebee. The scientist (also fuzzy), Dave, is an acarologist (a scientist whose specialty is mites) of note, and he is an indefatigable namer-and-counter of every living thing that appears in his garden and at his country estate, the Moose Pasture. Read his blog entry on the white-bottomed Bombus at Bumbling with Bombus: the late lucorum , and read the Edmonton Journal article, Scientists abuzz over arrival of Bombus moderatus species spotted in Edmonton yards.
For more on bumblebee biology, taxonomy and Bombus moderatus, read Robert Owen’s article, The changing identity and distribution of a bumble bee species known from Alberta for one hundred years at The Centenial Reader.