Steven Falk > Collections > Insects > Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, ants and relatives)

Welcome to the BRITISH BEES ON FLICKR site. This collection attempts to cover EVERY species of bee on the British and Irish list (including the Channel Islands) acting as a virtual field experience and virtual museum collection. It is designed to complement the Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland (Falk & Lewington, 2015). Special thanks are due to the Natural History Museum, London and the Oxford University Museum for allowing me to photograph specimens that were lacking in my own collection and to other photographers for allowing me to host their images.

The collection is organised as alphabetically arranged genera containing alphabetically-arranged species 'albums'. Photos within individual species albums are arranged in a set sequence: males (living), males (pinned and microscopic views), females (living), females (pinned and microscopic views), habitat(s), key forage plants, any special parasites/hosts, and (for the rarer or more habitat-specific species) examples of localities.

Once in a species album, hover your cursor over the top of page and click 'Show More' to view the species accounts that have been prepared for every species. These often contain live hyperlinks to other websites relating to that species (this facility may not work on all browsers - try Chrome)

If you double click on individual photos you will find often useful notes, especially for microscopic shots, explaining diagnostic features and differences from similar species. Click once or twice more and the photo will get progressively bigger (like a microscope zoom) and reveal more detail which can be really useful for genera like Andrena, Lasioglossum and Sphecodes where the body punctures and microscupture are critical for distinguishing many species.

Bees are not always easy insects to identify but it is hoped that this resource and the Field Guide will make bee identification (and the research, monitoring and conservation that flows from this) much easier than in the past.

Falk & Lewington (2015) Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland (Bloomsbury)

Else, G.R. & Edwards, M. (2018) Handbook of the Bees of British Isles. The Ray Society.

Other useful links:
BWARS species accounts:

UK Bees, Wasps and Ants Facebook Group: the best place to get your photos checked and to share observations with other experts/enthusiasts.


Atlas Hymenoptera:
especially the index:

Checklist of Western Palaearctic Bees:

The Wild Bees and Wasps of Europe (Flickr)

Nico's Wild Bees and Wasps (Nicolas Vereecken's Flickr site):

Palaearctic Osmiine Bees:

ITIS bee checklist of the world:

Dutch bees:

German Hymenoptera Information System (HymIS-Deutschland):

British Bees Facebook Group:

A good global perspective for most genera is provided by Discover Life:

See Bombus Folder for more bumblebee-specific links.


8 albums


34 albums


1 album


1 album