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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Apoidea (clade Anthophila) - Bees

Large Carpenter Bee - Xylocopa virginica - female Cuckoo bee - Triepeolus lunatus Another bee - Halictus ligatus - female Green  ? whatever - Agapostemon - male Give A Wave - Bombus ternarius - male Leafcutter? - Megachile perihirta - male Apis mellifera? - Apis mellifera - female Andrena - Andrena wilkella - male Plasterer Bee - Colletes simulans - female Green-eyed (Melittid) bee - Hesperapis
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Hexapoda (Hexapods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon Apoidea (clade Anthophila) - Bees
Other Common Names
Spanish abeja, French abeille
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Recent phylogenomic studies indicate that bees may have arisen from within Crabronidae rather than being sister to Crabronidae(1), but it's still unclear which crabronid subgroup is sister to bees
Explanation of Names
English bee is ultimately from the Indo-European bhī 'bee, insect' (Wiktionary)
~3,500 spp. in our area; >20,000 described spp. worldwide(2)(3)
Pronotum short, collar-like. Body usually very hairy. A distinctive feature of bees is that their hairs (at least some of them, particularly on the thorax) are branched or plumose; while those of wasps are simple. The hairs of bees collect pollen that they periodically brush and store on pollen transporting apparatus. Only females have pollen transporting apparatus:
Scopae, brushes of hairs on the hind legs. In Megachilidae the scopa is on the abdomen.
Corbiculae, basket-like structures on metatibia, as in the honey bee and related groups, (corbiculate Apidae).
Bees that lay eggs in other bees' nests, “cuckoo bees", look wasplike; they have less hair and lack pollen transporting apparatus.
Key to e. US spp. in(4) ∙ to e. Canada genera in(5) ∙ to cleptoparasitic larvae in (6)
Worldwide, except high mountains and polar regions. A few bumble bees live within the Arctic Circle (Heinrich 1979)
Primarily nectar and pollen from flowers. A few collect floral oils. Species that collect pollen from a wide range of plants are called polylectic; from plants of the same family, mesolectic; of a single genus, oligolectic; from just one species, monolectic (rare case)
Non-native Bees
Andrena wilkella, No common name. From Europe
Anthophora villosula, no common name. From the Palaearctic, 1980s/'90s
Apis mellifera, Honey Bee. From Europe, centuries ago
Centris nitida, No common name. From the Neotropics, very recently
Ceratina dallatorreana, No common name. From w Palaearctic
Euglossa dilemma, Dilemma Orchid Bee. From the Neotropics, very recently
Xylocopa appendiculata, no common name. From E Asia, 2012
Hylaeus communis, no common name. Very recently, 2010s
Hylaeus hyalinatus, No common name. From W.Palaearctic
Hylaeus leptocephalus, No common name. From the
Hylaeus pictipes, no common name. Very recently, 2010s
Hylaeus punctatus, No common name. From Europe, 1980s
Halictus tectus, No common name. From Europe, recently
Lasioglossum leucozonium, No common name. From the Palaearctic
Lasioglossum zonulum, No common name. From the Palaearctic
Anthidium manicatum, Wool Carder Bee. From Europe
Anthidium oblongatum, No common name. From Europe, 1995
Chelostoma campanularum , No common name. From Europe
Chelostoma rapunculi, No common name. From the Palaearctic
Coelioxys coturnix, No common name. From Europe, very recently
Hoplitis anthocopoides, No common name. From Europe
Lithurgus chrysurus, Mediterranean Wood Boring Bee. From Europe in 1978
Megachile apicalis, No common name. From Europe and the Middle East
Megachile concinna, Pale leafcutting bee. From Africa
Megachile lanata, No common name. From Ethiopian/Oriental regions
Megachile rotundata, Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee. From the Old World
Megachile sculpturalis, Giant Resin Bee. From Asia, 1990s
Megachile umbripennis, No common name. From Asia
Osmia caerulescens, No common name. From the Palaearctic
Osmia cornifrons, Hornfaced Bee. From Japan, 1977
Osmia taurus, No common name. From SE Asia, recently
Pseudoanthidium nanum, No common name. From Europe, very recently
Print References
History of early bee diversification (Danforth et al. 2006)
Works Cited
1.Identifying the sister group to the bees: a molecular phylogeny of Aculeata with an emphasis on the superfamily Apoidea
Debevec A.H., Cardinal S., Danforth B.N. 2012. Zoologica Scripta 41: 527-535.
2.Ascher J.S., Pickering J. (2017) Discover Life bee species guide and world checklist (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
3.The bees of Colorado (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
V.L. Scott, J.S. Ascher, T. Griswold, C.R. Nufio. 2011. Natural History Inventory of Colorado 23: vi+100 pp.
4.Bees of the eastern United States
Mitchell T.B. 1962. Tech. Bull. (NC Agric. Exp. Sta.): No. 141 (538 pp.), 1960; and No. 152 (557 pp.).
5.The bee genera of Eastern Canada
L. Packer, J.A. Genaro, C.S. Sheffield. 2007. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 3.
6.A taxonomic key to mature larvae of cleptoparasitic bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)
Rozen J.G., Jr. 2001. Am. Mus. Novitates 309: 1-27.
7.The Bees of the World, 2nd edition
Charles D. Michener. 2007. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
8.Bees of the World
C. O'Toole & A. Raw. 1999. Blandford. 192 pp.
9.Bees of Wisconsin (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)
A.T. Wolf & J.S. Ascher. 2009. The Great Lakes Entomologist 41: 129-168.
10. The Bees of Florida
11.Principal sunflower bees of North America with emphasis on the southwestern United States
Hurd P.D., LaBerge W.E., Linsley E.G. 1980. Smiths. Contr. Zool. 310.
12.Family-group names for bees (Hymenoptera, Apoidea)
Engel M.S. 2005. Am. Mus. novitates 3476, 33 pp.
13.Insect visitors of Illinois wildflowers
14.The Bee Inventory Plot
15.Native Bees of North America
16.Wild Bees of the National Butterfly Center