FNZ 57 - Apoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera) - Contributor notes
Donovan, BJ 2007. Apoidea (Insecta: Hymenoptera). Fauna of New Zealand 57, 295 pages.
( ISSN 0111-5383 (print), ; no. 57. ISBN 978-0-478-09389-6 (print), ). Published 07 Sep 2007
Contributor Barry Donovan was born in Taumarunui in the west central North Island of New Zealand. Apart from the usual stings bare-footed children receive by stepping on bees foraging on clover, his first memory of really noticing bees was the arrival of a swarm of honey bees that clustered on a tree at Piriaka Primary School, which he was attending. This was the first swarm he had ever seen, and to his great apprehension he was asked to help hive it by an older pupil who lived on a neighbouring property. Barry then became captivated by the bees as they established their colony in a wooden apple crate, and before long his father took him to visit the local commercial beekeeper. For the next eight years Barry worked on weekends and through the summers for the beekeeper, and during this time acquired 12 beehives of his own. Observations of insects visiting flowers revealed the occurrence of other bees that were not honey bees or bumble bees, and which could not be identified by anyone. After a BSc in Zoology from the University of Auckland, his MSc thesis studied the nesting biology of native bees at a nest site on the northern shore of the Waitemata Harbour. His PhD from the University of California, Davis, was a taxonomic revision of a subgenus of solitary ground-nesting bees, the species of which were similar to most of the native bee species in New Zealand. The next 22 years were spent as an entomologist with the New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research (DSIR) at the Canterbury Agriculture and Science Centre at Lincoln, where he specialised in the introduction and management of new species of bees for pollination of introduced crops, and also the biological control of wasps. During this period his interest in the taxonomy of native bees was pursued whenever possible. With the dissolution of the DSIR in mid-1992, he moved briefly to Landcare Research Ltd, and following his liberation from the constraints imposed by Landcare management, established himself as an independent entomologist. Fortunately, the new Foundation for Research, Science and Technology saw fit to fund him to continue his two main interests. In February 2003 his contribution to the study of bees and pollination was recognised by the presentation in Teheran, Iran, of the Khwarizmi International Award by the President of Iran. His research on bees in New Zealand has finally culminated in this revision of all the species of bees known from New Zealand.