Bees of Mesoamerica

In order to produce analyses of the distribution and its changes for the different species of bees of Mesoamerica, defined here as the region encompassing Mexico and the 7 Central American countries, we gathered digital records of bee specimens from museums, academic collections and private collectors. We also received some larger, aggregate datasets from individuals who had collected bee data for other purposes.


The database includes nearly 335,000 records of bee specimens collected around North America from 1842 to the present, including nearly 75,000 samples deposited at the collection of Ecosur. The whole set includes in particular data for 24,000 bumblebees, 52,000 stingless bees and 19,000 orchid bees, supporting ongoing analyses that will permit to classify different taxa on the IUCN red list of threatened species.


This databasing effort is led by the Bee Team of Ecosur and is still ongoing. It has benefited from contributions by more than 40 individuals and/ or institutions, and the data describe bee specimens held in at least 15 collections around the world. Below is a list of individuals and institutions that we gratefully acknowledge as direct contributors to this resource and to publications that are based on it. A full list of collections in which the specimens reside is available upon request.


Data contributors



El Colegio de la Frontera Sur: Jorge Mérida, Philippe Sagot, Rémy Vandame

Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México: Ricardo Ayala (Estación de Biología, Chamela), Ismael Hinojosa (Instituto de Biología)

Universidad de Las Américas, Puebla: Carlos Vergara

Comisión Nacional para el Uso y el Conocimiento de la Biodiversidad



Universidad San Carlos (Colección de abejas nativas de Guatemala): Eunice Enríquez, Oscar Martínez


Costa Rica

Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad



MZUFBA (Laboratorio de Bionomia, Biogeografia e Sistematica de Insectos): Thiago Mahlmann

DZUP (Departamento de Zoologia da Universidade do Parana): Gabriel Melo

DBAI (Universidade de Brasilia): Antonio Aguilar



University of Utah – United States Department of Agriculture: Terry Griswold

University of California, Davis (Bohart Museum of entomology): Lynn Kimsey, Robin Thorp

University of California, Berkeley (Essig Museum of Entomology): Peter Oboyski

University of California, Riverside (Entomology Research Museum): Douglas Yanega

California Academy of Sciences: Robert Zuparko

University of Kansas (Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology): Michael Engels, Victor Gonzalez, Jennifer Tomas

Smithsonian Museum: Sean Brady, Brian Harris

American Museum of Natural History: Jerome Rozen Jr., Eli Wyman, John Ascher

Natural History Museum Los Angeles County: Brian V. Brown

Illinois Natural History Survey: Dmitri Dmitriev

Museum of Southwestern Biology, New México: Karen Wright



York University, Toronto: Sheila Dumesh



British Natural History Museum: Paul Williams, David Notton



Museum National d’Histoire Naturelle: Claire Villemant



Private collection, Amsterdam : Mr. Van Asperen de Boer

RMNH (Rijksmuseum van Natuurlijke Histoire) Leiden: Frederique Bakker



SDEI (Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut Müncheberg): Andreas Taeger, Stephan Blank

ZSM (Zoologische Staatssammlung München): Johannes Schuberth



OOL (Biologie Zentrum Linz des OO Landes Museum), Linz: Fritz Gusenleitner



ZMUC (Zoological Museum University of Copenhagen): Lars Vilhelmsen



Global Biodiversity Information Facility