Madhu (honey) and wax have been an integral part of human
social system for the last five thousand years or so. The fascinating creatures
that provide us these useful products are commonly known as honey bees [Genus
species]. Certainly bees might have attracted the attention of ancient
men when they observed their life style concentrated in a perfect social setup.
It led to a lot of learning that proliferated into further evolution of human
social life on earth. The uninterrupted labour, continuous devotion and loyalty
of bees for the prosperity of their own race have led to further learnings that
would make human social bondage more strong.
Each one of us know that bees visit flowers, collect nectar
and manufacture honey. They live in huge combs hanging at places where they
usually remain undisturbed from other animal species. Astonishing, everyone is not
aware about rest of thousands of species of bees those are not involved with the
production of honey and wax.
They are commonly referred as non-Apis bees. Most of them
are solitary, i.e. at the most one pair involves in the process of its nest
architecture, collect pollen-nectar and take care of their immatures. A few
semi social or eusocial too but their number are rare.
All bees are categorized under Phylum Arthropoda, Class
Insecta, Order Hymenoptera and Super family Apoidea. At present they are grouped
under seven families. Stenotritidae, Colletidae, Andrenidae, Halictidae,
Melittidae, Megachilidae and Apidae. Honey bees are grouped under tribe Apini
incoming Family Apidae under genus
Linnaeus, distributed world over with 11 species. Melittologists world over have estimated that around 28,500 species of
bees have been described since the era of Linnaeus (1758). Taxonomically, this
number is reduced to around 16,350 after making judgments with regard to
synonymies. Thousands of species are yet to be studied in this regard. The
number of present day genera has been apprehended to 425.
No doubt species of Genus
Apis have always been and shall always remain in the category of topmost
curious species group because human race is deeply involved with their
artificial domestication and management for the sake of honey and wax, all over
the World. However, thousands of other species of bees are yet to be explored in
terms of several aspects of their utility. Non-Apis bees have been
discovered for their vigorous and quite fast seed set rate through the valued
pollination of thousands of crops that are of food, fodder, medicine, fibre, vegetable,
fruit, pulse and seed value etc. When a comparison between them and the honey
bees was made, strange results
revealed that the credit for the pollination of thousands of angiospermic
species, by mistake given to honey bees, factually goes to non-honey bee species. Most of
them perform this beneficial act so quickly that it remains almost invisible to
a normal eye. So far, use of many non-Apis species has opened a new
era for mankind where seed outputs of many cultivated and wild crops have
increased to two to five times. The story of artificial domestication of
Megachile rotundata and
Osmia cornuta is not hidden from anyone. It
has increased the output of Alfalfa and some fruit crops respectively, up to
four-five times in Europe, Japan and North America.
Hundreds of chemicals those are used as an integral part of
nest architecture, secreted by different non-Apis bee species, would be useful
in many ways. Among them perfect waterproof materials secreted by dufours glands
located in abdomen of most of the bee species, may be of one significance and the sticky
mandibular secretion would be of another. The aspect should attract
more intensive investigations in near future.
A Catalogue for any flora and fauna group provides a bird's
eye view about the investigations made and the results known. Catalogues for bee
species for the various regions of the World are rarely known so far. A
Catalogue of Hymenoptera of the World by Smith (1853 & 1854) [for those species
that are preserved at British Museum] followed by the Catalogue of Hymenoptera by Dalla Torre (1896) were the
initial attempts. The catalogue of Hymenoptera in America north of Mexico (updated in
1979) is another such effort. Separate region wise revesionary
works for the bees of Australian, South-American and European regions have
been published during second half of the previous century.
The pioneer series "Fauna of British India" with different
volumes published by different authors at the end of nineteenth century
and beginning of twentieth century provided a good revesionary view for different insect and other animal groups.
Bingham (1897) made it partially for the Aculeata (Hymenoptera) including 288
species of bees under 30 genera. However, after a century their updating becomes
a necessary step to be undertaken. The Geographical limits of countries
have changed. The eco-climatic parameters have undergone a drastic change and
thousands of new taxa have been described. Simultaneously, numerous new locations
for previously described species are explored and, the taxonomic revision
of hundreds of species have been made. Precisely, an urgent need was felt that a
catalogue of bee species for the Indian region should be presented for an
overview of the fauna described so far along with their correlated aspects.
The present work
includes a taxonomic cataloguing of 1289 species under 93 genera [plus one genus yet to be
named] known so
far from the region [a few of the genera are sensu lato, as specified]. It is further fortified with the reference/s available for the species known from
our specified territory. The large scale intermediate synonymisations at different taxonomic
levels have not been discussed here but the presentation is more or less limited
to the finally accepted versions.
I should best mention here that the titled "Indian region"
does not geographically limits the region that persisted during the British
regime or until the second half of the previous century but the region basically
considered here includes almost all countries known in the Oriental Zoogeographical
realm. However, the title says so because bee species included in this work in
major, have been described from the "Indian Region" [Pakistan, India, Nepal, Sri
Lanka, Maldives, Bangla Desh, Bhutan and Myanmar] i.e. SAARC countries with
Myanmar. Those bee species are included here with a little restriction which
were described from beyond this limit. The restricted inclusion is for the bee
species which are exclusively known from the "flexible zone" i.e. present day Tajikistan, Uzbekistan,
Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and up to Turkey towards west to
India and, southern China, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, mainland of
Malaysia and up to Singapore in the east to India. At present the inclusion of bee species from the specified "flexible
region" is not completely referred in this work. However, in future It will be
The inclusion of some of the bee species recorded from the "flexible territories" in this work is
primarily due to overlapping of distribution of several species found in the
specified "Indian Region" with its both eastern and western territorial neighbours.
Of-course bees over-rule the human territorial attitude and their distribution
and movements are
primarily based upon the availability of food source i.e. the specific flowerings
they visit and, the ecological parameters of a zone. In spite, some species are so
extensively distributed that one may find them up to Egypt and south of Europe in
the west and up to Malaysia in the east. Megachile lanata is a good
example in this regard that has over crossed oceans and has reached up to USA.
World Taxonomic Profile
The taxonomy of bees as that of any other fauna, keeps on
updating based upon character grids, evolution of phylogeny and, interpretations
and judgments made by individual Melittologists. However, based upon type
specimens, a species is such an
object that never changes its parameters of identification although it might have named more than once by
different workers and, it would have been taxonomically revised from one
taxonomic category to another viz. subgenus, genus, tribe or so on. The chapter of
Profile added to this work may be an asset to the bee workers of the World.
The overall systematic review made, has been presented here so that bee species
in our region may be suitably accommodated within the world taxonomic profile. With a sincere acknowledgement to the pioneer authority, I have
adopted this chapter with due permission from
Dr. Charles D. Michener
of Kansas, Lawrence, KS], but with a few amendments at species level. To restrict the volume of this e-book, synonymies for the subgenera have
been omitted and the finally accepted versions have been mentioned. It is
primarily due to the fact that in spite of omissions of subgenus the status of a
species does not get disturbed. The subgeneric status for a species is the least
significant matter and more often a species is mentioned merely by its binomial
nomenclature (name of genus and species) instead of the inclusion of its
subgenus in the middle. However, the number of species for and more refined distribution records for,
different subgenera and genera
are incorporated in this e-book. It will be of immense
use to all the Melittologists.
Majority of the bee species of our region are yet
to be taxonomically revised therefore, some of the generic names used in this catalogue
are infect sensu lato. The references at different taxonomic level are
more or less confined to the author and its year of publication. Whenever, more
than one publication of similar nature in same journal, volume and page numbers,
have been published by one author in a single specified year then alphabetical
abbreviated form of journal/publication, volume number (bold) and pages have
been mentioned to make difference between more than one reference. To find a
detailed reference this is hereby suggested that one should go to the bottom box
[placed on all pages], should click the hyperlink for the 'Bibliography of the Bees of the World'
by the same author. Then go to the
alphabetical author index and download the
desired whole list/reference.
I am sure that this presentation with "complete knowledge"
for the bee species for the area will provide what is fundamentally needed by
bee biologists all over the World enabling them make further investigations on
the bee species of the specified region.
This e-book is quite intensive in the sense that one may need
to click a total of 2527 hyperlinks (263 external hyperlinks) to open 178 visible files to download full catalogue.
Bordered hyperlinks are placed only at the bottom of each page. WebPages lack
hyperlinked top borders so as to restrict the number of
hyperlinks [or basically to limit the volume of website]. WebPages such
as those for separate
cannot be interlinked in a series since the pages are separately made for each
genus. Or else one will have to return to bottom border to click
to open next genus. Or one may switch over to a linked genus through
various families or/and tribes in the "taxonomic profile"/family-subfamily-tribe
networking (genera known from the area and detailed in this work). The website is further
fortified with a page "Links",
so that one may directly switchover to other useful websites on bees.
I am grateful to the
authorities of the Web server
http://www.Geocities.Com who have provided me
a huge free
web space for this exhaustive presentation on bees until 26 November 2009.
This is an advantage with a publication on internet that amendments can be made
even after the appearance. I shall welcome the
inclusions from the Melittologists of the World that should be
incorporated in this e-book.
A. Floral records
of the bee species known so far and references on nestings and immatures whatever have appeared
are included with regard to our destined
species. More particularly recent works of Dr. D. B. Baker, Dr. S. F. Sakagami,
Dr. P. D. Hurd & Dr. J. S. Moure and, Late Dr. K. Warncke is still pending to be included in this catalogue.
B. A complete
taxonomic profile [some subgenera] will not open, uploading of these files is
Preface for the 2010 issue
Due to closer of webserver
Geocities.com on 26th November 2009 the World Bee Bibliography and this catalogue has been redesigned and
www.BeesInd.Com on 08 February 2010. This is my own web server and as
earlier will be available to all without any cost. Shortly, it will be revised
according to the recent most taxonomic framework for the area. During the
process several taxonomic additions have occurred and hundreds of newer
localities have been added to the original work published in this catalogue in
year 2003. I have tried to include all the available records of such revisions /
updates in the present additions. Such web pages have been marked so [It will
take another couple of months for the updates to be uploaded].