|An interesting little bee, but how to identify it?|
So, there has been progress - some genera are covered (though the test keys are exactly that and need to be used with caution) - and the lack of a current UK guide is well known, being noted in another excellent publication (Baldock 2008) which includes useful photos and a key to bee genera. I use this a lot and its relevance is broader than the title suggests as Surrey supports a large proportion of the national bee fauna. Of course, I haven't yet covered online resources or societies and the one that really stands out here is BWARS (the Bees, Wasps & Ants Recording Society) which includes a variety of resources (inlcuding the test keys mentioned above) such as a more comprehensive bibliography (with more opportunities to improve my German) and an excellent photo gallery. All told, practise is essential and I have learned a lot about bee ID over the last few years, though there are still some gaps I want to fill (when aren't there?). There's also a tantalising hint of a work-in-progress in the form of a 'Handbook of the Bees of the British Isles and the Channel Islands' to be published by the Ray Society, though no date is yet known. I may have to put some money aside for that one...
|Hmmm, nice clear wing venation, now where's that key...?|
Baldock, D.W. (2008). Bees of Surrey. Surrey Wildlife Trust, Woking.
Bellmann, H. (2010). Bienen, Wespen, Ameisen. Kosmos, Stuttgart. [In German]
Edwards, M. & Jenner, M. (2009). Field Guide to the Bumblebees of Great Britain & Ireland (rev. ed.). Ocelli, Eastbourne
Else, G.R. (1999). Identification. Leaf-cutter bees. British Wildlife10(6): 388-393.
Saunders, E. (1896). The Hymenoptera Aculeata of the British Isles. Reeve, London.
Step, E. (1932). Bees, Wasps, Ants and Allied Insects of the British Isles. Warne, London.
Willmer, P. (1985). Bees, Ants and wasps. A Key to Genera of the British Aculeates. Field Studies Council, Taunton.
Yarrow, I.H.H. (1986). Key to the Aculeata (ants, bees and wasps). In: Betts, C. (ed.). The Hymenopterist's Handbook (2nd ed.). AES, Hanworth. pp. 168-172.