Inventory of the Robbin W. Thorp Papers D-657

Liz Phillips
University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
1st Floor, Shields Library, University of California
100 North West Quad
Davis, CA 95616-5292

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis Library, Dept. of Special Collections
Title: Robbin W. Thorp Papers
Creator: Thorp, Robbin W. (Robbin Walker), 1933-
Identifier/Call Number: D-657
Physical Description: 3 linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1966-2002
Abstract: Materials related to the research career of emeritus professor of entomology and expert in bee biology Dr. Robbin Thorp. The collection includes field data, correspondence and notes, meeting and conference proceedings, and publications.
Physical Location: Researchers should contact Archives and Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.


Dr. Robbin Thorp (1933-2019) was a distinguished emeritus professor of entomology who taught at UC Davis from 1964-1994 and who continued to contribute to UC Davis and other research institutions until his last moments. He was born on August 26, 1933 in Benton Harbor, Michigan and earned his bachelor of science in zoology in 1955 at the University of Michigan; his master's degree in zoology in 1957 at the University of Michigan; and his PhD in entomology in 1964 at UC Berkeley. That same year, he joined the entomology department at UC Davis where he taught courses that ranged from insect classification, general entomology, the natural history of insects, field entomology, California insect diversity, and pollination ecology. Dr. Thorp also taught a 9-day intensive summer workshop from 2002-2018 that focused on bee biology and taxonomy: it was sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History at the Southwestern Research Station, Portal, Arizona. This summer course was considered the premiere native bee biology and taxonomic course.
Aside from a distinguished teaching career, Dr. Thorp was also a leading researcher and expert in the entomology and taxonomy of bees. He co-authored a few books, Bumble Bees of North America: An Identification Guide (Princeton University, 2014) and California Bees and Blooms: A Guide for Gardeners and Naturalists (Heyday, 2014) and continued to pursue research projects at the UC Davis Bohart Museum of Entomology and the Haagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven (a half-acre bee garden on Bee Biology Road operated by the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.) Some of his research involved monitoring bees in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, where he established a baseline in 2008 and detected more than 80 species of bees. His expertise in his field of study has earned him multiple honors and recognition among his peers across the nation, one of which is the Distinguished Emeritus Award in 2015. According to a colleague, Norman Gary, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, he was the go-to person to distinguish a bee by species. As a result, his academic peers regard his level of expertise unmatched and regret that such expertise will no longer be available. He passed away at the age of 85 on June 7, 2019 in Davis, six months after his wife Joyce died at the age of 84 on December 9, 2018. Their survivors are three children, Kelly, Katie, and Jeff and two stepchildren, Donna Gary and Steve Gary.
Biography by Vanessa Cardona-Ocegueda
Keatley Garvey, Kathy. "Dr. Robbin Thorp: 1933-2019." ANR Blogs, 7 June 2019,  . Accessed 27 November 2019.

Scope and Contents

Materials related to the research career of bee biology expert Dr. Robbin Thorp. The collection includes field data, correspondence and notes, meeting and conference proceedings, and publications.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Liz Phillips with help from student assistant Aditi Sinha and Vanessa Cardone-Ocegueda.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Robbin W. Thorp Papers, D-657, Archives and Special Collections, UC Davis Library, University of California, Davis.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred to UC Davis Library by Lynn Kimsey, 2019.

Publication Rights

All applicable copyrights for the collection are protected under chapter 17 of the U.S. Copyright Code. Requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Regents of the University of California as the owner of the physical items. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bees -- Research
Bees -- California
University of California, Davis -- Faculty -- Archives

Box 1, Folder  3

10-180 + Western Regional Coordinating Committee (Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC)) - 37 meeting (missed) 1995

Box 1, Folder  4

Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) Role in MoU for CA 1993

Box 1, Folder  23-24

Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) 1989-1991

Box 1, Folder  25

Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) - news, updates & miscellaneous 1991-1993

Box 1, Folder  5

Africanized Honey Bee (AHB) - Tech Advising Committee DPU's August 1992

Box 3, Folder  22

Biosystematists 1990

Box 1, Folder  29

Bodega Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) 1989

Box 1, Folder  28

Bodega Marine Laboratory Research (BMLR) - Lupinus Arboreus 1992

Box 2, Folder  1

Bodega Misc. Correspondence 1989-1990

Box 3, Folder  30

Bodega - Proposals & Travel Vouchers 1986

Box 2, Folder  4

Bodega - Natural Reserve System (NRS) Research 1996-2001

Box 1, Folder  27

Bombus Acarinarium November 1989

Box 1, Folder  6

CRIS Repts. 1992-2002

Box 2, Folder  9

Experiment Station Projects & Reports 1966-1989

Box 2, Folder  23

Fluorescent Training 1976

Box 3, Folder  1-2

Fluorescent Training 1978

Box 3, Folder  4

Fluorescent Training 1977

Box 3, Folder  5

Fremontia 1980

Box 3, Folder  3

Fremontia 1981

Box 3, Folder  7

Fremontodendron Flannel Bush Study 1979-1980

Box 1, Folder  1

Hatch (3000-H) Revision 1990 1991-1996

Box 1, Folder  2

Hatch (3000-H) Revision 1996 1996-2001

Box 3, Folder  14

Jepson Prairie Permit information 1989-1993

Box 3, Folder  11-12

Jepson Prairie Reserve (JPR) Management Committee 1992

Box 3, Folder  16-18

Jepson Prairie Reserve (JPR) Management Committee October 1992

Box 3, Folder  15

Jepson Prairie Reserve (JPR) Project 1992-1996

Box 3, Folder  6

Jon Bishop Correspondence 1990-1992

Box 3, Folder  26-27

MelissaNewsletter 1986-1996

Box 3, Folder  31

Miscellaneous undated

Scope and Contents

Vouchers, permits, booklets
Box 2, Folder  12

Natural Reserve System (NRS) Publications undated

Box 3, Folder  8

Nectar Fluorescence 1974-1984

Box 3, Folder  9

Panurginus Atriceps 2000

Box 1, Folder  26

Point Reyes Bee Study undated

Box 1, Folder  21

Pollination Research Workshop 1990-1991

Box 3, Folder  28

Programa Cooperativo sobre la Apifauna Mexicana (PCAM) Apifauna Mexico 1988

Box 1, Folder  30

Randall Morgan Bee IDs 2002

Box 2, Folder  13-15

Science Citation Index (SCI) Fennel Project 1997

Box 2, Folder  16-17

Science Citation Index (SCI) Fennel Project 1998

Box 2, Folder  18-22

Science Citation Index (SCI) Fennel Project 1999

Box 3, Folder  33

Sweepnet 1973-1974

Box 3, Folder  34

Thorp Arctic Bombus Collaboration 1993

Box 3, Folder  32

Thorp Correspondence 1978-1991

Box 3, Folder  29

Thorp Fennel Project 1997

Box 3, Folder  10

Thorp Insect IDs 1996

Box 3, Folder  25

UC Publications in Entomology Panel 1973-1990

Box 3, Folder  19-21

UCD - Natural Reserve System (NRS) 1990

Box 3, Folder  23-24

UCD - Natural Reserve System (NRS) 1993

Box 2, Folder  5-8

UCD - Natural Reserve System (NRS) 1994-1998

Box 2, Folder  10-11

UCD - Natural Reserve System (NRS) 1991-1993

Box 3, Folder  13

UCD - Natural Reserve System (NRS) 1998

Box 1, Folder  12

W-180 1994

Scope and Contents

W-180: Research under Agricultural Experiment Station Western Regional Project "Identification, behavioral ecology, genetics, and management of African honey bees."
Box 1, Folder  13

W-180 1992-1993

Box 1, Folder  9

W-180 & Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 1997

Box 1, Folder  11

W-180 & Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 1996

Box 1, Folder  10

W-180 & Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 Meeting April 1997

Box 1, Folder  8

W-180 & Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 Renewals May 1994- September 1995

Box 1, Folder  14

W-180 & Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 40 1991-1992

Box 1, Folder  22

W-180 Addresses 1987-1990

Box 1, Folder  16

W-180 Annual Meeting 1990

Box 1, Folder  15

W-180 Annual Meeting 1991 - Tucson 1990-1992

Box 1, Folder  20

W-180 Meeting Reports and Other Related Documents 1988-1991

Box 2, Folder  24-27

Western Agricultural Society (WAS) - British Bee Society (BBS) Group Sign-up 1978-1991

Box 1, Folder  17-19

Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 1979-1989

Box 2, Folder  2-3

Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 & W-180 Misc. Reports 1992-2001

Box 1, Folder  7

Western Regional Coordinating Committee (WRCC) - 37 Annual Meeting 1990-1991