Palouse Bees

Eucera sp. (Apidae) at Idler’s Rest, Latah County, Idaho

Our list of bee species found in Latah and Whitman Counties provides excellent baseline data for Latah and Whitman counties. It should help guide citizen monitors in their efforts to collect additional data for the region or to reconcile their own observations with existing species accounts.

The list is based on data provided by the USDA-ARS National Pollinating Insect Database in Logan, UT (data download, spring of 2012). These records were collected by a diverse assemblage of people including scientists, extension personnel, agency folks and nature enthusiasts over a period of some 100 years!

Please note that this table does not include all of the downloaded records because some records were empty or designated as morpho species. Records that contained GIS coordinates were mass uploaded and projected into the map found on the Map Your Pollinators! page. So, if you want to see where some of these bees were observed/collected, check out the map.

Please remember that the table is not a complete list of bee species for Latah and Whitman Counties. Some records from as yet unpublished studies have not yet been incorporated into the NPID database. Moreover, the species list could be improved by closely reviewing records maintained by the W.F. Barr Insect Museum at the University of Idaho and the Insect Museum at Washington State University, as well as through a broader search of the literature.

Our bee species table lists 145 bee species found across the two counties. Of these, the Megachilidae contained the most recorded taxa with 64 species; 28 belonging to the genus Osmia, 9 to Megachile, 9 to Stelis and the remainder to 9 different genera. Apidae contained the second greatest number of recorded taxa with 51 species; 20 belonging to the genus Bombus, 16 to Stelis, 6 to Eucera, 3 to Anthophora, and the remainder to 6 additional genera. Halictidae followed with 15 species; 6 belonging to the Lasioglossum, 4 to Halictus, and 3 to Agapostemon. Andrenidae was next with 13 species; 10 belonging to Andrena, 3 to Perdita, and 1 to Panurginus. And lastly, the Colletidae had the fewest taxa with 2 species, both belonging to the genus Hyleaus.

Species by County

With respect to species records by county, 98 species records were found for Latah County and 103 for Whitman County. Differences by county may reflect differences in historical sampling intensity as much as differences in true richness. It is very likely that, with additional sampling, more species records will be identified and some taxa gaps filled in. On the other hand, it is perhaps not surprising to see differences in species records between these counties as their geography differs considerably, with the eastern portion of Latah County being considerably more mountainous than most of Whitman County.

We will be adding pictures of each species to the table. Until then, try the following websites for images and/or additional information on these species:,, and

To see pictures of local bumble bees, visit the Palouse Bumble bees by County page.

For information on the biology of bumble bees visit the Biological Data for Palouse Bumble Bees page.