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Bee Barcoding (Bee-BOL) Campaign J. Gibbs, L. Packer, C. Sheffield York University. Bee-BOL: the campaign to barcode the bees of the world. Its beginning Its current status Example studies: A whole bee community A whole (nightmare) taxon iBOL and pollinators.

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Bee Barcoding (Bee-BOL) Campaign

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Bee Barcoding (Bee-BOL) Campaign

J. Gibbs, L. Packer, C. Sheffield York University


Bee-BOL: the campaign to barcode the bees of the world.

    • Its beginning
    • Its current status
  • Example studies:
    • A whole bee community
    • A whole (nightmare) taxon
  • iBOL and pollinators.
    • How to barcode the bees

of the world

    • How you can help

May 12th – 14th 2008 12 – 14 Mayo, 2008

12 – 14 Maio, 2008 2008年 5月12-14日

Inaugural Meeting Reunión Inagural Reunião Inaugural 創立総会



6 boxes – 516 specimens from 28 nations

Ninety-six well DNA isolation protocols

Hierarchy of primer decisions; including degenerate primer cocktails

% success amplifying barcode sequence



BeeBol: 6 submitted plates: 423 sequences

  • 423/561 with some sequence (75%)
  • ~1200 sequencing reactions
  • 235 with >600 bp
  • 85 with < 400 bp
  • Taxonomic patterns
    • 6 families, 76 genera
  • Age patterns
  • 6 boxes
    • 297 P1 (LepF1/LepR1)
    • 215 P2 (LepF1/C_ANTMR1D)
    • 130 P3 (RonMWASPDeg_T1/LepR1)
    • 85 P3 (MLepF1/LepR1)
    • Folmer primers (not tried on these specimens)
    • 10 Wolbachia CO1 sequences that amplified with P1
    • All produced insect CO1 with P2 and P3
    • 3 mouse sequences
    • Taq contamination

BeeBol – – within taxa comparisions

Within species

(as originally defined)

Between sister species


The Bee-BOL website

  • You will be able to find
    • All power point presentations or read texts from Toronto and Durban meetings
    • Meeting documents, including guidelines on how you can help
    • The world bee species list, with each species directly linked to its page on the discover life website
    • Images and Key to Andreninae
    • List of contributors, contact information, lists of projects etc.

Bee Imaging Project

Caupolicana fulvicollis Spinola

Ctenocolletes smaragdinus (Smith)

bee stats

6,752 Barcodes

>1,542 Species Barcoded

452 Andrenidae

1,996 Apidae

638 Colletidae

2,838 Halictidae

912 Megachilidae

11 Melittidae

5 Stenotritidae

a community wide survey the bees of nova scotia canada
A community-wide survey:the bees of Nova Scotia, Canada


Hylaeus affinis / modestus

Hylaeus affinis / modestus

Hylaeus basalis

Hylaeus annulatus

Hylaeus mesillae

Hylaeus verticallis

Colletes compactus

Colletes inaequalis

Colletes simulans

Macropis nuda

Perdita octomaculata


Sheffield et al. submitted to

Molecular Ecology Resources

revision of the canadian and eastern usa dialictus fauna
Revision of the Canadian and Eastern USA Dialictus fauna

Describe all species in these regions (~100)

New synonymies

20 so far


4 so far

New species

20 so far

typical dna barcoding results
Typical DNA barcoding results
  • Clear agreement between morphology and molecules
  • Little variation within species across large geographical areas
hidden diversity
Hidden diversity

Deep divergences within a ‘single’ species

Erroneous synonymies

Cryptic species

l tegulare species group
L. tegulare species group

Gibbs (submitted to Zootaxa)

unexpected results
Unexpected results

Different morphologies

Same sequence!

L. rohweri and L. callidum


Bee-BOL Goals

  • Barcode all bee species (19231 + undescribed spp.)
  • Combination of regional studies and whole taxon studies
  • Gain specimens from collections
  • Focused collecting for rare species and under sampled localities
www dnabarcoding org

10 specimens each from 500,000 species, within 5 years of activation

We hope to barcode all bees for ~$5M.

ibol and pollinators
iBOL and pollinators

BEE-BOL a major component

Flower flies

Other economically important groups

Eg. Cacao midges

high impact groups
High impact groups


  • Xylocopa

How you can help


Coloured bowls for easy collecting

requirements and benefits
Requirements and Benefits
  • Requirements
  • Specimens to be barcoded must:
    • Have full collection data
    • Have an associated image (we can take these)
    • At least one exemplar of each species must be kept in an institution that will be able to loan it if further morphological taxonomic study is needed
  • All materials can be returned to their country of origin
  • Benefits
    • Data
    • Identifications
    • Publications associated with release of full data sets
    • Training, workshop/conference attendance for students


  • The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (Canada), Canada Research Chairs program, Ontario Foundation for Innovation and Genome Canada through the Ontario Genomics Institute to PDNH
  • Fonds québécois de la recherche sur la nature et les technologies B3 postdoctoral fellowship to MAS.
  • CBOL – funded the May workshop
  • York University
  • Sujeevan Ratnasingham (BOLD)
  • Kate Crosby and Anibal Castillo (diligent, careful and enthusiastic lab work)
  • John Ascher and John Pickering and others that contributed to the bee species list on Discover Life
  • Sam Droege
  • All workshop attendees who submitted samples
  • Numerous collaborators throughout the world who have sent in samples