Hymenoptera of the Outer Hebrides

Bees, Wasps, Ichneumons & Sawflies

Hymenoptera is one of the largest orders of insect which includes many familiar groups such as bees, ants, wasps, sawflies and ichneumons. In the British Isles, there are at least 6,700 species but only 106 have been recorded in the Outer Hebrides, again a reflection of under-recording rather than an impoverished fauna.

In recent years the five species of bumblebee Bombus and two species of solitary mining bee Colletes which are found on the island are been the subject of more intensive study, particularly as the islands are a stronghold of the rare Great Yellow Bumblebee Bombus distinguendis. We occasionally find ichneumons in the moth traps and on field trips and are grateful to Dr Gavin Broad of the Natural History Museum for identifying these species.