Bees of Sri Lanka

Bees in Sri Lanka
Being pollinators, bees have become the most useful group of insects and there are over 20,000 species of described bees in the world (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2012). Of them, about 152 species belonging to four (of the seven) families Colletidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae and Apidae are found in Sri Lanka (Karunaratne et al., 2005; Wijesekara, 2001).

Dalla Torre (1896) is considered the first one who recorded bees in the country (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2012). He was followed by C.T. Bingham (1897) who documented the keys for 42 species of bees in 15 genera from Sri Lanka (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2008; Wijesekara, 2001). Thereafter, investigations made by Smithsonian Institution, Washington during the 1978-1998 period and by several other taxonomists in the modern period resulted in the identification and documentation of 152 bee species in 38 genera and four families (Karunaratne & Edirisinghe, 2012; Karunaratne et al., 2005). 


1) Karunaratne, W.I.P. and Edirisinghe, J.P., 2012. The Taxonomy and Conservation Status of the Bees  (Hymenoptera: Apoidea)  in Sri Lanka. The National Red List 2012 of Sri Lanka. Conservation Status of the Fauna and Flora. Weerakoon, D.K. & S. Wijesundara Eds., Ministry of Environment, Colombo, Sri Lanka. pp.65-99.
2) Karunaratne, W.I.P. and Edirisinghe, J.P., 2008. Keys for the identification of common bees of Sri Lanka. J.Natn.Sci.Foundation Sri Lanka 2008 36 (1). pp.69-89.
3) Karunaratne, W.A.I.P., Edirisinghe, J.P. and Gunatilleke, C.S., 2005. Floral relationships of bees in selected areas of Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science, 34, pp.27-45.
4) Wijesekara, A., 2001. An annotated list of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Apiformis) of Sri Lanka. Tijdschrift voor Entomologie, 144(1), pp.145-158.

This page was last updated on 20 May 2022
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