Royal Alberta Museum
visitors since 1967

Invertebrate Zoology: Collections

The main strength of our Invertebrate Collection is the world-wide collection of aculeate Hymenoptera (stinging bees and wasps) which now includes about 200,000 specimens. We also have well-developed collections of Coleoptera (beetles) and Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) along with several minor collections of most other insect orders.


Bee collection (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Apiformes). The collection includes over 23,000 specimens from all biogeographic regions, more than half of them from Canada. One hundred and fifty-two genera are represented in the collection (classification according to Michener, 2000: The Bees of the World). Approximate numbers of specimens per family are: Halictidae (13,200), Apidae (5,150), Andrenidae (1,900), Colletidae (1,550), Megachilidae (1,450), Melittidae (10). The bee collection has recently been upgraded (Aug-Oct 2009), when all specimens were identified to at least genus (often subgenus) level and previous identifications were verified. Detailed information about our bee holdings have been summarized in a downloadable spreadsheet. The document includes exact numbers of specimens per genus/subgenus for each biogeographic region, including a list of countries where the material was collected.

Download list of RAM bee holdings (Microsoft Excel document (.xls) 98KB, last updated on November 6, 2009)

For information on working with the collection, please contact the Curator, Invertebrate Zoology.