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Entomology: Stephen Buchmann

Adjunct Scientist

(Also Research Associate in Univ. AZ Ecology & Evolutionary Biology dept., member UA Institute of the Environment, Research Associate and Art Institute Instructor at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum).
Scientist-at-Large, The Pollinator Partnership, (
Past President, Board of Trustees, The Drylands Institute, Tucson, AZ.
Former USDA-ARS Research Entomologist, Carl Hayden Bee Research Ctr.
Personal website:
Answering service: (520) 328-1301

B.S., Biological Sciences, California State University, Fullerton
M.S., Biological Sciences, CSUF
Ph.D. in Entomology; University of California, Davis

Dr. Buchmann is the author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and 11 non-fiction trade books. He no longer teaches UA courses, but is active on several Ph.D. and masters student committees at the University of Arizona and NAU.

My research interests are mainly with the pollination ecology of wild plants in temperate deserts and tropical rainforests. I consider myself a pollination ecologist and bee biologist (melittologist), especially the biology of cactus bees (Diadasia), carpenter bees (Xylocopa) and the genus Centris. Currently, I am a co-PI on a National Science Foundation grant with Drs. Daniel Papaj (EEB) and Annie Leonard (UNVR) on learning behavior (including buzz pollination) in bumble bees. I have conducted studies on floral and bee chemical ecology, the biophysics of wind-pollinated plants, the evolution of pollination specialization by solitary bees. Related interests include pollen and nectar chemistry, carrying capacities of deserts for native bees, automated honey bee scale colonies as biomonitoring agents, buzz pollinated and oil-producing flowers, conservation biology of native bees and their use in restoration ecology.

Selected books:

Buchmann, S. 2015. The Reason for Flowers: Their History, Culture, and Biology, and How They Change our Lives, Scribner (Simon & Schuster), 342 pp.

Buchmann, S. 2010. Honey Bees: Letters from the Hive (A History of Bees and Honey), Ember, an imprint of Random House Children's Books, New York, 212 pp. An NSTA Outstanding Science Trade Book.

2007. Status of Pollinators in North America. Buchmann was a panelist and co-author. National Research Council of the National Academies of Science, 307 pp.

Buchmann, S. and D. Cohn. 2007. The Bee Tree. An illustrated children's book from Cinco Puntos Press, El Paso, TX. Illustrated by Paul Mirocha. A 2008 Skipping Stones Honor Award Book.

Nina Chambers, Yajaira Gray and S. Buchmann. 2005. Pollinators of the Sonoran Desert, a Field Guide. Tucson, AZ: Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum, 83 pp.

Buchmann, S. and G. P. Nabhan. 1997. The Forgotten Pollinators. Island Press, Washington, D.C., 292 pp. A Benjamin Franklin award winning book and Finalist for the 1996 Los Angeles Times Prize for the Best Science Book.

Selected journal and book articles:

Wulfla Gronenberg, A Raikhelkar, E. Abshire, J. Stevens, E. Epstein, K. Loyola, M. Rauscher and S. Buchmann. 2014. Honeybees (Apis mellifera) learn to discriminate the smell of organic compounds from their respective deuterated isotopomers. Proceedings of the Royal Society B2014 281,20133089, published 22 January 2014.

Rogel Villanueva-Gutierrez, David Roubik, Wilberto Colli-Ucan, Francisco J. Guemez-Ricalde and S. Buchmann. 2013. A Critical View of Colony Losses in Managed Mayan Honey-Making Bees (Apidae: Meliponini) in the Heart of Zona Maya. J. Kans. Entomol. Soc. 86(4):352-362.

Marcus King and S. Buchmann. 2003. Floral Sonication by Bees: Mesosomal Vibration by Bombus and Xylocopa, but Not Apis (Hymenoptera: Apidae), Ejects Pollen from Poricidal Anthers, 76(2):295-305.

Raguso RA, Henzel C, Buchmann SL, et at. 2003. Trumpet flowers of the Sonoran Desert: Floral biology of Peniocereus cacti and sacred Datura. International Journal of Plant Sciences 164(6): 877-892.

Roulston TH, Cane JH, Buchmann SL. 2000. What governs protein content of pollen: Pollinator preferences, pollen-pistil interactions, or phylogeny? Ecological Monographs 70(4): 617-643.

Roulston TH, Buchmann SL. 2000. A phylogenetic reconsideration of the pollen starch-pollination correlation. Evolutionary Ecology Research 2(5): 627-643.

Buchmann, S.L. 1987. The Ecology of Oil Flowers and their Bees. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, 18(1987):343-369.

Buchmann, S.L. 1983. Buzz pollination in angiosperms. In: Jones & Little "Handbook of experimental pollination biology," pp. 73-113.

Department of Entomology at the University of Arizona
Forbes 410, PO Box 210036, Tucson, AZ 85721-0036
Phone: (520) 621-1151 • Fax: (520) 621-1150 • E-mail:

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College of Agriculture & Life Sciences Arizona Cooperative Extension