There’s a certain buzz at York University this week.

International bee experts have converged on Toronto to develop a plan to catalogue all species of the insect across the planet.

According to York biology professor Laurence Packer, who’s leading the group’s efforts, precisely 19,231 different kinds of bees have been identified. But he thinks there might be another 5,000 or more species out there waiting.


The bee gang clustering at York is trying to launch a DNA bar-coding campaign to more easily track all the bees in the world.

“The bar code on a specimen tells you that this is an important pollinator for blueberries, rather than an important pollinator for apples or canola,” Packer said.

The group is hoping to get funding of $700,000 to complete the task.

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