The Bees of the Southern Lake Michigan Region

Laura Rericha, along with colleagues Robert Jean and Michael Arduser, is working on a bee fauna for the Southern Lake Michigan Region, which is 47 counties in four states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Key aspects of this biological monograph include the following:


  • 479 bee species, vouchered by both historical and contemporary specimens housed in private and public institutions.
  • Thousands of hours spent by the authors in the field collecting bees, primarily from remnant habitats.
  • Collections of numerous species heretofore unknown from the region and/or from the states in which they have been collected.
  • Addition to the knowledge base of numerous bee species’ habitats, including their ecological relationships with specific plant species.
  • Short discussions on the life histories of each bee species.
  • Comparisons between cohorts of bees of the region’s natural divisions and accounts of regional uniqueness among the groups.
  • Discussion on the collection history of bee species and significance to historical context.
  • Examination of historical trends of the region’s floral phenology as a relationship to bee emergence and the latter’s potential movement northward.
  • Creation of taxonomic keys, with high-quality imagery, for speciose groups of bees, such as for the genus Andrena.



News & Updates



  • February 2019: Laura presents on "The Bees of the Southern Lake Michigan Region and Their Ecological Significance" at the 2019 Wild Things Conference in Rosemont, Illinois.


  • November 2018: Laura Rericha speaks at the Indiana Native Plant & Wildflower Society's Annual Conference. She presented on "The Pollination Biology of Flowers and Their Symbionts". Her talk begins at around the 1 hour, 58 minutes mark. View the presentation here.


Work at Conservation Research Institute is ongoing.


We need ongoing financial support so that our researchers can continue their work on lichens, bees, ants, and vascular plants, and so that our illustrator can hand-color botanical drawings for educational public art works. Donors will be acknowledged in
upcoming publications.

Colletes andrewsi (female) on host plant Heuchera richardsonii