New Bee Checklist for IL

I am very excited about this. For a couple of years now I have been looking for a bee checklist for the state IL US, but I couldn’t find one, I would hear numbers thrown around in the range from 300 to 500 but no one seemed to have a list. Well at last, published in the Journal of Kansas Entomological Society a checklist has been compiled with 491 confirmed species and another 51 unconfirmed. As an added bonus it includes the county lists. I realize that this might be a bit too fine tuned for a lot people (especially outside the US), but for people who live in IL or one of the surrounding states this could be an incredibly useful tool.
If you click the link it goes to the page to purchase the article ($10.00).
By the way @bdagley I now know why you put all of the tags over three posts, limit ten.
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If this list is this important, did you import it into iNaturalist?

post script for people who are not so good in Geography:
and this place has no checklist for Bee’s

Forgive the ignorance, but what would importing the list do? I’m not familiar with that for this site. And if it is good to do, how would you do it?

The state checklists are useful for narrowing down species ID options, based on knowing location. Here’s more:


New York (note: more species are since known which aren’t on list)





@neylon You can also add these (I embedded links) to the top body text, if you want.

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At the right top ‘‘add batch’’

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Great news! I’ll also add that New York will have a more complete checklist soon thanks to the Empire State Native Pollinator Survey, which concludes this year. I think we’ll get up to around 450 bee species in total.

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450 species of bees, or 450 species in the target group which according to the project page extends beyond bees ?

Just curious as next door Ontario which has a pretty well researched and maintained provincial species list has fewer than 200 bees on it.

That’s from a larger geography, with equivalent habitat. Yes Ontario lacks the Atlantic coast, but that should be offset with the boreal and northern habitats in the province.

Just bees! That would be a revision up from the last estimate (416 species as of 2015, as you can see from @bdagley’s link), but comparable to other states in the Northeast/Midwest US. I’m actually surprised there would be such a difference compared to Ontario though. Do you have a link to the provincial checklist? All I found after a cursory search was Packer, Genaro, and Sheffield 2007, which reports 409 species across Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes, but I assume that well over half of these should be present in Ontario. In general (though based more off my intuition than actual numbers) I would expect that the majority of bee diversity in the province is around the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence, and that the Shield and regions further north probably add very few species that aren’t already found further south.

Even places like Wisconsin etc whose lists are linked to above report much higher numbers.


I wonder if that’s lack of exploration or just a side effect of living in a cooler climate?

Not sure either would be a big impact. The climate is not significantly different than New York, maybe colder by a bit than the seacoast without the moderating impact of the ocean. And certainly not different than MI, WI, MN etc it shares borders with or is close to.

I doubt there is a serious difference in study levels either.

neat!! if it gets uploaded I’d love to get an @. I have access to the article, but it would be a lot easier to compare to observations if it were already on inat :)

edit: oh, I suppose I can do it can’t I? ive never uploaded a list before. maybe ill start!

Another good way to explore records not on iNat is to toggle the GBIF records on the maps. In some cases, records end up on GBIF before they are published in the primary literature. A help file if you haven’t used this function before:


@beeboy ah thanks! ill look into that

ive now added the first 200 species to the list- @optilete it looks like you have to approve them before it will show up. ill add more later!

Ah, I think I see what happened. The insect entries in that database appear to be sorted alphabetically by family, though this is not immediately clear. So you may have just seen the bees in families Andrenidae and Apidae (of which the list includes 176), but with the addition of Colletidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, and Melittidae, there are a total of 386 there.

That overlay is interesting. I’ve so far been just going to GBIF separately. There’s also BugGuide/BG (shows records by state down to city which aren’t on GBIF/iNat; no GPS-level coordinates though). As a technicality, I don’t think any of the above are 100% exhaustive (there could be other published/museum records not on them). I hope someday there’s a way to collect all records in one place (like iNat → GBIF)

It would be good if iNat. somehow added an option to transfer over BG records (assuming BG gave permission)… lot’s of good additional records…

Following on this thread re: state lists. I forget if I’ve seen Canada provinces. There should be a lot. In US, there are probably more state lists I didn’t remember. Also states that don’t have a list, tend to still have large published surveys (sometimes multiple) which would be the next best way to “construct” a working list (actually based on any existing surveys/data from the state).

There’s some source for all New England states combined which might be interesting to search for (it might be an info. pamphlet, I forget). Most northeastern states I think have 300-400 or more.

I’ve looked into NY state most, so here’s more info. The ESNPS survey is interesting, I also volunteer (it’s ongoing if anyone wants to help it).Going beyond the NY list I linked, 447 species were mentioned in 2014 (link only shows abstract). And I forget where (maybe a note in “Bees of Maine”), but a few more might have been mentioned. Still, no recent full list published.

It’s interesting iNat./citizen science can uncover many new records…

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