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

Welcome to the BRITISH BEES ON FLICKR site. This collection covers nearly all 278 species of bee on the British and Irish list (including the Channel Islands) acting as a virtual field experience and virtual museum collection. 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.

Once in a species album, hover your cursor over the top of page 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 more and the photo will get bigger and reveal more detail.

As of November 2015, this site is complemented by the 'Field Guide to Bees of Great Britain and Ireland (Falk & Lewington, British Wildlife Publishing/Bloomsbury) which provides keys and more refined species accounts.

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.

Other useful links:
BWARS species accounts:


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.

Andrena s.g. Micrandrena (mini-mining bees)

Andrena s.g....

10 albums

Coelioxys (sharp-tailed bees)


8 albums

Lasioglossum (base-banded furrow bees)


33 albums

Macropis (oil-collecting bees)


1 album

Osmia (mason bees)

Osmia (mason bees)

12 albums

Rophites (bristle-headed bees)


1 album