BBC: Bees hidden in plain sight: check out this BBC description of Tom Onuferko’s recent work on cuckoo bees!
Tom did his MSc research in our lab (see Rapid initial recovery and long-term persistence of a bee community in a former landfill.) He distinguished himself by identifying thousands of specimens collected over a 10-year period and providing the first definitive list of bee species for Niagara Region. Tom said from the beginning that he wanted to be a taxonomist, and now he’s achieved that goal! He’s been studying some really attractive kleptoparasitic bees named Epeolus. Kleptoparasites are cuckoos – like their birdy counterparts, they lay their eggs in other bees’ nests, parasitizing the maternal efforts of bees with more respectable life styles. Tom recently discovered 15 new species among museum collections. I think it is funny that they were there all along – and Tom is creating new employment and research opportunities for people like himself who are the only ones who can identify these bees in collections like ours!
Congratulations, Tom! Ya done good!