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Selected research publications on bumblebees


[download older EndNote list with abstracts]


Williams PH, Huang J-X, and An J-D. 2017. Bear wasps of the Middle Kingdom: a decade of discovering China's bumblebees. Antenna 41: 21-24. [email]


Williams PH, Lobo JM, and Meseguer AS. 2017. Bumblebees take the high road: climatically integrative biogeography shows that escape from Tibet, not Tibetan uplift, is associated with divergences of present-day Mendacibombus. Ecography, [email].


Williams PH and Jepsen S. 2017. IUCN BBSG - Bumblebee Specialist Group Report 2016. Natural History Museum, London. 16 pp. [PDF]


Williams PH, Huang J-X, Rasmont P, and An J-D. 2016. Early-diverging bumblebees from across the roof of the world: the high-mountain subgenus Mendacibombus revised from species' gene coalescents and morphology (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Zootaxa, 4204: 1-72. [email]


Spevak E, Jepsen S, and Williams PH. 2016. Bumblebee conservation worldwide within the IUCN framework. Pages 180-199 in: Pollination services to agriculture. Sustaining and enhancing a key ecosystem service (ed. by B. Gemmill-Herren). Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and Routledge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire.


Williams PH, Cannings SG, and Sheffield CS. 2016. Cryptic subarctic diversity: a new bumblebee species from the Yukon and Alaska (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Journal of Natural History, 50: 1-13. [email]


Sheffield CS, Richardson L, Cannings S, Ngo H, Heron J, and Williams PH. 2016. Biogeography and designatable units of Bombus occidentalis Greene (Hymenoptera: Apidae) with implications for conservation status assessment. Journal of Insect Conservation. [email]


Williams PH. 2016. Family or fashion? Colour patterns in arctic bumblebees. Barcode Bulletin, 7: 18-19. [email]


Williams PH and Jepsen S. 2016. IUCN BBSG - Bumblebee Specialist Group Report 2015. Natural History Museum, London. 20 pp. [PDF]


Williams PH, Byvaltsev AM, Cederberg B, Berezin MV, Odegaard F, Rasmussen C, Richardson LL, Huang J-X, Sheffield CS, and Williams ST. (2015) Genes suggest ancestral colour polymorphisms are shared across morphologically cryptic species in arctic bumblebees. PLoS ONE. [PDF] doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0144544


Lozier JD, Cameron SA, Duennes MA, Strange JP, Williams PH, Goulson D, Brown MJF, Morales C, and Jepsen S. 2015. Relocation risky for bumblebee colonies. Science, 350: 286-287. [email]


Li J, Powell E, Guo J, Evans JD, Wu J, Williams PH, Lin Q-H, Moran NA, and Zhang Z-G. 2015. Two gut community enterotypes recur in diverse bumblebee species. Current Biology, 25: 1-3. [email]


Huang J-X, An J-D, Wu J, and Williams PH. 2015. Extreme food-plant specialisation in Megabombus bumblebees as a product of long tongues combined with short nesting seasons. PLoSONE, 1-15. [PDF] doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132358


Woodward SH, Lozier JD, Goulson D, Williams PH, Strange J, and Jha S. 2015. Molecular tools and bumble bees: revealing hidden details of ecology, evolution, and behavior in a model system. Molecular Ecology. [email]


Scriven J, Woodall LC, Tinsley MC, Knight M, Williams PH, Carolan JC, Brown MJF, and Goulson D. 2015. Revealing the hidden niches of cryptic bumblebees. Biological Conservation, 182: 126-133. [email]


Williams PH, Bystriakova N, Huang J-X, Miao Z-Y, and An J-D. 2015. Bumblebees, climate, and glaciers across the Tibetan plateau (Apidae: Bombus Latreille). Systematics and Biodiversity, 13: 164-181. [PDF] doi: 10.1080/14772000.2014.982228


Williams PH. 2015. Bombus rubriventris: type locality, the history of bumblebees in the New World, and documenting invertebrate extinctions. Journal of Natural History, 2014. [email] doi: 10.1080/00222933.2014.954022


Williams PH and Jepsen S. 2015. IUCN BBSG - Bumblebee Specialist Group Report 2014. Natural History Museum, London. 15 pp. [PDF]


Williams PH. 2014. One of the oldest and rarest bumblebees rediscovered. Buzzword, 26: 5. [PDF]


Huang J-X, Wu J, An J-D, and Williams PH. 2014. Newly discovered colour-pattern polymorphism of Bombus koreanus females (Hymenoptera: Apidae) demonstrated by DNA barcoding. Apidologie, 46: 250-261. [PDF] doi: 10.1007/s13592-014-0319-9


An J-D, Huang J-X, Shao Y-Q, Zhang S-W, Wang B, Liu X-Y, Wu J, and Williams PH. 2014. The bumblebees of North China (Apidae, Bombus Latreille). Zootaxa 3830: 1-89. [PDF] doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.3830.1.1


Williams PH, Thorp RW, Richardson LL, and Colla SR. 2014. Bumble bees of North America. An identification guide. Princeton University Press. 208 pp.


Williams PH and Jepsen S. 2014. IUCN BBSG - Bumblebee Specialist Group Report 2013. Natural History Museum, London. 14 pp. [PDF]


Williams PH and Jepsen S. 2013. IUCN BBSG - Bumblebee Specialist Group Report 2012. Natural History Museum, London. 6 pp. [PDF]


Pellissier L, Guisan A, Litsios G, Pradervand J-N, Cherix D, and Williams PH. 2012. Phylogenetic relatedness and proboscis length contribute to structure bumblebee communities in the extremes of abiotic and biotic gradients. Global Ecology and Biogeography. doi: 10.1111/geb.12026


Hines HM and Williams PH. 2012. Mimetic colour pattern evolution in the highly polymorphic Bombus trifasciatus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) species complex and its comimics. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 166: 805-826. [email] doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2012.00861.x


Williams PH, Byvaltsev A, Sheffield C, and Rasmont P. 2012. Bombus cullumanus - an extinct European bumblebee species? Apidologie. Online. [PDF] doi: 10.1007/s13592-012-0161-x


Koch J, Strange J, and Williams P. 2012. Bumble bees of the western United States. USFS and the Pollinator Partnership. 144 pp. [PDF]


Williams PH, Brown MJF, Carolan JC, An J-D, Goulson D, Aytekin AM, Best LR, Byvaltsev AM, Cederberg B, Dawson R, Huang J-X, Ito M, Monfared A, Raina RH, Schmid-Hempel P, Sheffield CS, Sima P, and Xie Z-H. 2012. Unveiling cryptic species of the bumblebee subgenus Bombus s. str. world-wide with COI barcodes (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Systematics and Biodiversity 10: 21-56. [PDF] doi: 10.1080/14772000.2012.664574


Williams PH, An J-D, Brown MJF, Carolan JC, Goulson D, Huang J-X, and Ito M. 2012. Cryptic bumblebee species: consequences for conservation and the trade in greenhouse pollinators. PLoSONE, 7: 1-8. [PDF] doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0032992


Carolan JC, Murray TE, Fitzpatrick U, Crossley J, Schmidt H, Cederberg B, McNally L, Paxton RJ, Williams PH, and Brown MJF. 2012. Colour patterns do not diagnose species: quantitative evaluation of a DNA barcoded cryptic bumblebee complex. PLoSONE, 7: 662-667. [PDF] doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029251


Sheffield CS and Williams PH. 2011. Discovery of Bombus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in continental North America. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario, 142: 53-56. [PDF]


Williams PH, An J-D, and Huang J-X. 2011. The bumblebees of the subgenus Subterraneobombus: integrating evidence from morphology and DNA barcodes (Hymenoptera, Apidae, Bombus). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 163: 813-862. [PDF] doi: 10.1111/j1096-3642.2011.00729.x


Colla S, Richardson L, and Williams PH. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. USFS and the Pollinator Partnership. 103 pp. [PDF]


An J-D, Williams PH, Miao Z-Y, and Zhou B-F. 2011. The bumblebees of Gansu, northwest China (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Zootaxa, 2865: 1-36. [PDF]


Williams PH. 2011. Bumblebees collected by the Kyushu University Expeditions to Central Asia (Hymenoptera, Apidae, genus Bombus). Esakia, 50: 27-36. [PDF]


Williams PH, Ito M, Matsumura T, and Kudo I. 2010. The bumblebees of the Nepal Himalaya (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Insecta Matsumurana, 66: 115-151. [PDF]


Martin SJ, Carruthers JM, Williams PH, and Drijfhout, FP. 2010. Host specific social parasites (Psithyrus) indicate chemical recognition system in bumblebees. Journal of Chemical Ecology. [PDF] doi: 10.1007/s10886-010-9805-3


An J-D, Huang J-X, Williams PH, Wu J, and Zhou B-F. 2010. Species diversity and colony characteristics of bumblebees from the Hebei region of North China. Chinese Journal of Applied Ecology, 21: in press. [PDF]


Williams PH, An J-D, Huang J-X, and Yao J. 2010. BBCI: A new initiative to document Chinese bumble bees for pollination research. Journal of Apicultural Research, 49: 221-222. [PDF] doi: 10.3896/IBRA.


Packer L, Sheffield CS, Gibbs J, de Silva N, Best LR, Ascher J, Ayala R, Martins D, Roberts SPM, Tadauchi O, Kuhlmann M, Williams PH, Eardley C, Droege S, and Levchenko TV. 2009. The campaign to barcode the bees of the world: progress, problems, prognosis. In: Yurrita, CL (Ed), Memorias: VI Congresso Mesoamericano Sobre Abejas Nativas. Universidad de San Carlos de Guatemala, Centro de Estudios Conservacionistas, pp. 178-180.


Williams PH and Osborne JL. 2009. Bumblebee vulnerability and conservation world-wide. Apidologie 40: 367-387. [PDF] doi: 10.1051/apido/2009025


Williams PH, Colla S, and Xie Z-H. 2009. Bumblebee vulnerability: common correlates of winners and losers across three continents. Conservation Biology 23: 931-940. [email] doi: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2009.01176.x


Williams PH, Tang Y, Yao J, and Cameron S. 2009. The bumblebees of Sichuan (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini). Systematics and Biodiversity 7(2): 101-190. [PDF] [original maps] doi: 10.1017/S1477200008002843


Williams PH. 2008. Do the parasitic Psithyrus resemble their host bumblebees in colour pattern? Apidologie 39: 637-649. [PDF] doi: 10.1051/apido:2008048


Xie Z-H, Williams PH, and Tang, Y. 2008. The effect of grazing on bumblebees in the high rangelands of the eastern Tibetan Plateau of Sichuan. Journal of Insect Conservation 12: 695-703. [PDF] doi: 10.1007/s10841-008-9180-3


Monfared A, Talebi AA, Tahmasbi G, Williams PH, Ebrahimi E, and Taghavi A. 2008. A survey of the localities and food-plants of the bumblebees of Iran (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus). Entomologia Generalis 30(2007): 283-299. [email]


Williams PH, Cameron SA, Hines HM, Cederberg B, and Rasmont P. 2008. A simplified subgeneric classification of the bumblebees (genus Bombus). Apidologie 39: 46-74. [PDF] doi: 10.1051/apido:2007052


Williams PH. 2007. Bumble bees - and their decline in Britain. In: Carreck NL and Johnson TW, eds. Aspects of sociality in insects. Ilford: Central Association of Bee-Keepers. pp. 161-176. [link] [Reprinted from Williams (1989).]


Williams PH. 2007. The distribution of bumblebee colour patterns world-wide: possible significance for thermoregulation, crypsis, and warning mimicry. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 92: 97-118. [PDF] doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00878.x


Williams PH, Araujo MB, and Rasmont P. 2007. Can vulnerability among British bumblebee (Bombus) species be explained by niche position and breadth? Biological Conservation 138: 493-505. [PDF] doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2007.06.001


Williams, P. 2007. Places to see bumblebees: Dungeness. Buzzword, Newsletter of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust 4: 4-7. [PDF]


Cameron SA, Hines HM, and Williams PH. 2007. A comprehensive phylogeny of the bumble bees (Bombus). Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 91: 161-188. [PDF] doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2007.00784.x


Hines HM, Cameron SA, and Williams PH. 2006. Molecular phylogeny of the bumble bee subgenus Pyrobombus (Hymenoptera: Apidae: Bombus) with insights into gene utility for lower-level analysis. Invertebrate Systematics 20: 289-303. [PDF]


Williams PH and Thomas JC. 2005. A bumblebee new to the New World: Bombus distinguendus (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Canadian Entomologist 137: 158-162. [PDF]


Williams PH. 2005. Does specialization explain rarity and decline among British bumblebees? A response to Goulson et al. Biological Conservation 122: 33-43. [PDF] doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2004.06.019


Williams PH. 2004. Genus Bombus Latreille. In: Gupta, R.K. (ed.) An annotated catalogue of the bee species of the Indian Region. Jai Narain Vyas University, Jodhpur. [link] [PDF]


Edwards M and Williams PH. 2004. Where have all the bumblebees gone, and could they ever return? British Wildlife 15: 305-312. [PDF 4Mb] [PDF 170Kb]


Cameron SA and Williams PH. 2003. Phylogeny of bumble bees in the New World subgenus Fervidobombus (Hymenoptera: Apidae): congruence of molecular and morphological data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 28: 552-563. [PDF]


Goulson D and Williams P. 2001. Bombus hypnorum (Hymenoptera: Apidae), a new British bumblebee? British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 14: 129-131. [PDF]


Williams PH and Hernandez LM. 2000. Distinguishing females of the bumble bees Bombus ruderatus (F.) from Bombus hortorum (L.) in Britain: a preliminary application of quantitative techniques. Report to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan Bumblebee Working Group. London: The Natural History Museum. 25 pp. [PDF]


Williams PH. 2000. Some properties of rarity scores used in site quality assessment. British Journal of Entomology and Natural History 13: 73-86. [PDF]


Williams PH. 2000. Are Bombus lucorum and magnus separate species? BWARS Newsletter 2000: 15-17. [link]


Williams PH. 1998. An annotated checklist of bumble bees with an analysis of patterns of description (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini). Bulletin of The Natural History Museum (Entomology) 67: 79-152.
[PDF: patterns of description]
[link to species list]


Plowright CMS, Plowright RC, and Williams PH. 1997. Replacement of Bombus muscorum by Bombus pascuorum in northern Britain? Canadian Entomologist 129: 985-990. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1996. Mapping variations in the strength and breadth of biogeographic transition zones using species turnover. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London (B) 263: 579-588. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1995. Phylogenetic relationships among bumble bees (Bombus Latr.): a reappraisal of morphological evidence. Systematic Entomology 19(1994): 327-344. [PDF]


Williams PH and Seddon A. 1993. Mongolian bumble bee survey. In: Belbin S, ed. Raleigh International Mongolia 92D expedition: June-August 1992 preliminary scientific reports. London. 6 pp.


Williams PH and Cameron SA. 1993. Bumble bee (Bombus Latr.) records from the Valley of Flowers, Uttar Pradesh. Bulletin of Entomology 31: 125-127.


Williams PH. 1993. Measuring more of biodiversity for choosing conservation areas, using taxonomic relatedness. In: Moon TY, ed. International Symposium on Biodiversity and Conservation (KEI). Seoul. pp. 194-227. [abstract]


Williams PH. 1991. The bumble bees of the Kashmir Himalaya (Hymenoptera: Apidae, Bombini). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) (Entomology) 60: 1-204.
[PDF: introduction & male mate-searching behaviour]
[PDF: keys]
[PDF: species accounts]
[PDF: discussion & colour variation]
[PDF: figures]


Vane-Wright RI, Humphries CJ, and Williams PH. 1991. What to protect? - Systematics and the agony of choice. Biological Conservation 55: 235-254. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1989. Bumble bees - and their decline in Britain. Ilford: Central Association of Bee-Keepers. 15 pp. [link]


Williams PH. 1989. Why are there so many species of bumble bees at Dungeness? Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 101: 31-44. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1988. Habitat use by bumble bees (Bombus spp.). Ecological Entomology 13: 223-237. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1986. Environmental change and the distributions of British bumble bees (Bombus Latr.). Bee World 67: 50-61. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1985. A preliminary cladistic investigation of relationships among the bumble bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae). Systematic Entomology 10: 239- 255. [PDF]


Williams PH. 1985. On the distribution of bumble bees (Hymenoptera, Apidae) with particular regard to patterns within the British Isles. PhD thesis, Department of Applied Biology. Cambridge: University of Cambridge. 180 pp. [abstract]


Williams PH. 1982. The distribution and decline of British bumble bees (Bombus Latr.). Journal of Apicultural Research 21: 236-245. [PDF]


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