Order Hymenoptera – Bees


Bees come in many colours, shapes and sizes – more than you might initially think – but most of us will be more familiar with the honey bee and the bumblebee, which we notice buzzing around the garden flowers in spring and summer on pleasant days. There are approximately 20,000 different species of bee worldwide, (Britain has some 250 plus species of bee alone) and although some of them are solitary insects, others form complex social orders to ensure their perpetuation as a highly structured species. Other bees, on the other hand, have evolved as parasites which feed and utilise other bee colonies to their own ends, sometimes taking over the host colony completely. One third of the human food resources rely entirely on insects for their survival, and most of this involves the humble bee. Fruit, vegetable, and cereal crops would not be able to reproduce without the aid of pollination, and this is where bees come to play a very important and active role within the cycle of Mother Nature. Domesticated bees also play an important role in this, and as well as doing their bit for flowering plants, they also produce, honey, wax, and other products which we all make use of in our daily lives.


Tribe Bombini (Bumblebees)

Red-tailed Bumblebee Bombus lapidarius male
Red-tailed Bumblebee
Bombus lapidarius
Tree Bumblebee Bombus hypnorum
Tree Bumblebee
Bombus hypnorum
Common Carder Bumblebee (Bombus pascuorum)
Common Carder Bumblebee
Bombus pascuorum
Buff-tailed Bumblebee Bombus terrestris
Buff-tailed Bumblebee
Bombus terrestri
Early Bumblebee (Bombus pratorum)
Early Bumblebee
Bombus pratorum
Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus vestalis
Vestal Cuckoo Bumblebee
Bombus vestalis
White-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus lucorum)
White-tailed Bumblebee
Bombus lucorum
Garden Bumblebee Bombus hortorum
Garden Bumblebee
Bombus hortorum
Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee Bombus barbutellus
Barbut’s Cuckoo Bumblebee
Bombus barbutellus

Family Apidae (True Bees)

European Honey Bee Apis mellifera
European Honey Bee
Apis mellifera
Early Nomad Bee Nomada leucophthalma
Early Nomad Bee
Nomada leucophthalma
Little Nomad Bee Nomada flavoguttata female
Little Nomad Bee
Nomada flavoguttata
Flower Bee Anthophora plumipes male
Hairy-footed Flower Bee
Anthophora plumipes
Marsham's Nomad Bee Nomada marshamella
Marsham’s Nomad Bee
Nomada marshamella
Common Mourning Bee Melecta albifrons male
Common Mourning Bee
Melecta albifrons
Nomada flava
Flavous Nomad Bee
Nomada flava
Fabricius' Nomad Bee Nomada fabriciana male
Fabricius’ Nomad Bee
Nomada fabriciana

Family Megachilidae (Mason, Leafcutter, Carder, & Resin Bees)

Wool Carder Bee Anthidium manicatum
Wool Carder Bee
Anthidium manicatum
Red Mason Bee Osmia bicornis female
Red Mason Bee
Osmia bicornis
Dull-vented Sharp-tail Bee Coelioxys elongata female
Dull-vented Sharp-tail Bee
Coelioxys elongata
Plain Dark Bee Stelis phaeoptera
Plain Dark Bee
Stelis phaeoptera
Common Leaf-cutter Bee (Megachile centuncularis)
Leafcutter Bees
Megachile sp.
Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee Megachile ligniseca
Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee
Megachile ligniseca

Family Andrenidae (Mining Bees)

Tawny Mining Bee Andrena fulva female
Tawny Mining Bee
Andrena fulva
Chocolate Mining Bee Andrena Scotica female
Chocolate Mining Bee
Andrena scotica
Andrena nitida
Grey-patched Mining Bee
Andrena nitida
Grey Mining Bee (Andrena cineraria) female
Grey Mining Bee
Andrena cineraria
Buffish Mining Bee Andrena (Melandrena) nigroaenea
Buffish Mining Bee
Andrena nigroaenea
Early Mining Bee Andrena haemorrhoa
Early Mining Bee
Andrena haemorrhoa
Gwynne's Mining Bee Andrena bicolor
Gwynne’s Mining Bee
Andrena bicolor

Family Halictidae (Sweat Bees)

Green Furrow Bee
Lasioglossum morio
Lasioglossum sp.
Sweat Bee
Lasioglossum

Family Colletidae (Plasterer Bees)

Common Yellow-face Bee Hylaeus communis male
Common Yellow-face Bee
Hylaeus communis
Ivy Bee
Colletes hederae