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The Preface occupies 2 pages -- the second page is directly below.


Florilegus long-horned bee on whitebrush

The state of Texas is a remarkable hub for wild bees. Within the United States, East and West Coast bee populations differ greatly from each other -- and Texas lies at the intersection of their two pollinator universes.  Some of the species shown here appear as far east as New York.  Others are common to California and desert habitats of the southwest.  Texas offers naturalists a rare opportunity to view bee species from both sides of the continent. 

Texas, in addition, spans a wide and varied geographical terrain that incorporates, at its southern extreme, a subtropical climate that harbors bee species unknown in other parts of the country.  The Texas Rio Grande Valley, located on the Texas-Mexico border in the floodplain of the Rio Grande River, contains a multitude of distinct habitats acclaimed for their biodiversity.   The Valley harbors unique mammals and birds;  more than  1,200  varieties

of plants; and hundreds of butterfly and bee species.


Many of the bee species found in the Texas Rio Grande Valley are rarely seen north of the Mexican border; others are found exclusively or nearly exclusively in Texas.  Among these are those belonging to genera seldom featured in popular North American pollinator guides - colorful and fascinating creatures such as Anycloscelis crooked-legged ​bees, the long-horned Melissoptila and the beautiful compact Anthophorula


Even those bee types recognizable to many casual naturalists and gardeners – carpenter bees, sweat bees and leafcutters, for example – tend to appear in a surprising array of species and exotic colors specially adapted to the Rio Grande Valley’s long growing season and remarkably varied flora.

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There is little pre-exisiting photographic docu-mentation of a number of the novel native bees  shown in this book.  Many were first recorded in the late 1800's by prominent entomologists such as E. T. Cresson, and Wilmatte and T.D.A. Cockerell, who described bee species in pain-staking written accounts unaccompanied by illustrations.

Since that time, some of the Texas Rio Grande Valley species uncovered by 19th Century entomologists have become the subject of study, but many remain under-researched, and their habits are largely unknown.  Whenever possible, this book has attempted to supplement existing knowledge about the remarkable native bees of the Texas Rio Grande Valley bees with detailed photographs and notes on  their behavior.

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