Bees at the Royal Alberta Museum, Edmonton
- For those of you working on bees taxonomically I would like to bring
to your attention the bee collection at the Royal Alberta Museum in
Edmonton. It might be unknown to many folks that our bee collection is
fairly large (of course not comparable to the very large
collections!). We have more than 23,000 bees from all over the world.
12,000 are from Canada, 5,300 from the U.S. and Nearctic Mexico, 3,300
from the neotropics, 1,200 from the Afrotropical region and the rest
from the other biogeographic regions. Halictidae are particularly well
represented (13,000 spms), followed by Apidae (5,100 spms) and the
remainder are approximately equally distributed between Andrenidae,
Colletidae and Megachilidae.
All our material has recently been sorted to at least the genus level
(often to subgenus) and is thus fully accessible to taxonomic study.
However, only a relatively small number of specimens is identified to
species level. The attached spreadsheet gives an overview of our
collection at the genus/subgenus level broken down by biogeographic
region and including country information. This spreadsheet will soon
be posted on the museum's website but I am already giving you a
Since genetic studies have gained much popularity I should point out
that the vast majority of our material is over 20 years old (most of
it from the eighties and coming out of trap residues). Chances for
getting DNA out of these specimens are therefore very slim at best.
If any of you are interested in borrowing material for revisionary
work please let me know and send me a message.
Dr. Matthias Buck
Royal Alberta Museum
Canada, T5N 0M6
Phone: (780) 453-9122