The bees of British Columbia (Hymenoptera: Apoidea, Apiformes)


  • Cory S. Sheffield Royal Saskatchewan Museum
  • Jennifer M. Heron


British Columbia is the most biologically diverse province in Canada, and its wide range of landscapes – particularly the dry valley bottoms and basins of the Columbia, Kootenay, Okanagan, Kettle, and Similkameen River systems – make it ideal for many groups of Hymenoptera, including bees. With the exceptions of some generic- or family-level treatments, no comprehensive account of the bees of British Columbia has been published, although recent studies have indicated that more than half of Canada’s bee species may be found in the province, with many of these found nowhere else in the country. Here, we summarize the province’s bee fauna by providing a comprehensive annotated checklist of species. For each species, we indicate the ecozone(s) in which they are presentently known to occur, and we provide summary statistics and analyses to compare ecozones. We also summarize the growth in knowledge of the province’s bee species over time, and all species accounts for the province are accompanied by a list of supporting literature or data. Although we feel this list is comprehensive, it is likely that we have overlooked some published accounts, and additional undocumented species will show up. In total, we record 483 bee species from British Columbia, 37 of which are considered new to the province. Among these, 20 species (or subspecies) are recorded as new to Canada, including: Andrena (Euandrena) misella Timberlake, Panurginus cressoniellus Cockerell [Andrenidae], Lasioglossum (Dialictus) obnubilum (Sandhouse), L. (Evylaeus) argemonis (Cockerell), L. (Hemihalictus) glabriventre (Crawford), L. (Hemihalictus) kincaidii (Cockerell) [Halictidae], Osmia (Melanosmia) laeta Sandhouse, O. (Melanosmia) malina Cockerell, O. (Melanosmia) pulsatillae Cockerell, O. (Melanosmia) raritatis Michener, Anthidium (Anthidium) formosum Cresson, Dianthidium (Dianthidium) plenum plenum Timberlake, D. (Dianthidium) singulare (Cresson), Stelis (Stelis) ashmeadiellae Timberlake, S. (Stelis) calliphorina (Cockerell), Dioxys pomonae pomonae Cockerell, Megachile pugnata pomonae Cockerell [Megachilidae], Nomada crotchii Cresson, Melissodes (Eumelissodes) saponellus Cockerell, and Habropoda miserabilis (Cresson) [Apidae].