Bee Course Frequently Asked Questions


Bee Course Arizona Bees 2

What's the station like?
How do I get to the Station?
What do I need to do to prepare for the course?
What do I need to bring with me for the course?
Can I keep the specimens I collect during the course?
How do I pay the Station fees?





What's the station like? top

The SWRS facilities, environment, and other introductory information is provided on the Station's web site at .

NOTE: Two to three participants (of same gender) will be housed in very comfortable, dormitory rooms, each with beds, bedding, and shared bathroom/shower facilities down the hall.

Misc. information: The Station provides laundry facilities (washer, dryer, and detergent); tokens for which may be purchased ($1.50) at the office. Three meals are served daily including vegetarian and no-red-meat options (please note this preference in your application).

How do I get to the Station? top

The Bee Course travel days for arrival is August 22. The departure travel day is September 1.

Flying. If you are flying into Tucson International Airport, vans will be waiting for pick ups between Noon and 4:00 p.m. The meeting area will be in the main restaurant on the airport's ticketing level, next to Delata, "Fly Bar." Instructors will be waiting for you there, next to "The Bee Course" sign, which can be seen in the adjacent photograph.

If you encounter difficulty in scheduling an arrival time between Noon and 4:00 p.m. on August 22, you may want to consider arriving in Tucson on August 21, staying overnight at one of the nearby airport hotels. One hotel that people commonly stay at is Hampton Inn near the airport with free van service to and from the airport.

As often happens, planes get delayed. If you encounter significant travel problems on August 22nd, please contact the Research Station at (520) 558-2396, as soon as you can. Jerry Rozen can be contacted at the airport on August 22 by cell phone (551) 265-1052.

For those flying out of Tucson, transport to the airport will be available on September 1. Vans will leave the Station at 9:00 a.m. Therefore, departing flights should be scheduled to leave AFTER 1:00 pm.

Driving. If you are driving to the Research Station via Tucson, the Station's web site provides the following instructions: "Interstate Highway 10 to N.M. 80 (Road Forks, N.M.), 25 mi south to turnoff west to Portal (N.M. 533). The Station is 5 mi west of Portal, by paved road, in Cave Creek Canyon, Cochise Co., Arizona."

IMPORTANT: Be sure to take Route 80 off of Highway 10, only AFTER you cross the border from Arizona into New Mexico. Also, note that the "5 mi west of Portal" is a long 5 miles. The road is narrow and full of curves and turns. The Station will be on the left-hand side of the road and is marked by a sign.

What do I need to do to prepare for the course? top

No preparation for the course is required. However, advance readings (identified below) are recommended, which would be especially helpful for individuals with little or no entomological background.

The course textbook is The Bee Genera of North and Central America, Michener, C.D., R.J. McGinley and B.N. Danforth, 1994, Smithsonian Press. Recommended reading: pages 8-14 "Terminology of Structures" (don't worry about memorizing details in advance) or Michener, 2007, chapter on adult morphology.

Copies will be available for all participants' use during the course.

What do I need to bring with me for the course? top

The following supplies will be available to all students for use during the course. Individuals who have certain supplies of their own are encouraged to bring them. This is especially true with regard to such items as the course books, insect nets, fine forceps, etc.

  • Michener et al., The Bee Genera of North and Central America
  • Note: Copies of local floral books and Mich's Bees of the World 2007 will be around the lab
  • Microscopes and lighting systems
  • Cyanide killing tubes
  • Insect pins (#2 & #3)
  • Point punch, paper and glue for double-mounting small specimens [if you prefer to use minutin double-mounts, and have access to them, bring your own.]
  • Pinning block
  • Fine forceps
  • Scissors
  • Insect storage boxes
  • Plant presses
  • Plastic bags for collecting flowers in field
  • "Pill" boxes for specimen field storage

The following items are things that you are expected to bring:

  • Insect collecting net
  • Field notebook for use in the field [small, hardcover notebook works best]
  • Flashlight [areas of the Station are very dark at night - flashlights are important]
  • Sweater and/or jacket [evenings can get quite cool]
  • Rain gear
  • Sun lotion
  • Alarm clock
  • Canteen or water bottle
  • Collecting bag or small backpack to carry gear in field
  • Cash [for local personal purchases; there are no local ATM machines]

The following items are things that you might consider bringing:

  • Laptop computer [the Station has a computer room but individuals so inclined should bring a laptop. E-mail access is available on most of the station grounds. NOTE: Cellphone service not available, but there is one public phone in the computer room and phone cards may be purchased in the office. Many cell phones now have service 5 miles down the road in Portal.
  • Binoculars [the Station area is renowned for its' bird fauna, so if you want to see the Trogons and hummingbirds, bring your binocs]
  • Swim suit [the Station has an excellent swimming pool]
  • Large towel for pool [the Station asks that you not use bath towels in the pool area].
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Earplugs [in case of snoring roommate(s)]

Misc. supplies information:

The vans carrying students from Tucson airport on August 22 will make a stop at the well-supplied Safeway in Willcox, Arizona. There you can purchase those items that you manage to forget, e.g., sun lotion, flashlights, as well as any special snacks and/or refreshments that you might want to have at the Station. NOTE: One general-use refrigerator is available in the Station's classroom.

The Station's Nature Store sells souvenir items, as well as field guides and local-area history books; also snacks, beer, wine, soda and some personal items.

Can I keep the specimens I collect during the course? top

Yes! We want students to go home with bees that are correctly identified to genus and properly labeled. We will be generating specimen labels at the Station. Remember that you will be returning with one or two insect boxes (that you didn't come with) and should anticipate this for your return packing. Be mindful that any specimens being imported or exported from the U.S. require a cleared 3-177 from U.S. Fish & Wildlife when entering or exiting the U.S. See here for more information.

How do I pay the Station fees? top

All students (whether or not they have received a waiver of tuition) or their home institutions must pay the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) fees of $670 for this period, covering dormitory room and board. This fee is payable to SWRS by credit card, certified check or money order (in USD), or cash (not personal check). This fee must be paid 30 days in advance of the course to: Southwest Research Station, PO Box 16553, Portal, AZ USA 85632, or call 1-520-558-2396 with a credit card. Transportation costs between home and Tucson (air) or SWRS (auto) are to be borne by all participants or their home institutions.