Alongside Coleoptera, Lepidoptera and Diptera, Hymenoptera are one of the most species-rich insect orders known. Their roles in nature as pollinators, plant eaters, parasitoids or predators are just as varied. Imagines are solitary or form seasonal states like bumble bees or some Vespidae species. States that last over several years are a life form familiar in honey bees and ants.
Content of the Collection
The Hymenoptera collection comprises approximately 2,277,880 specimens, mostly dried specimens mounted on pins. They include 11,400 types The content of the collection covers approximately 235,000 species. In addition, there are:
- 238 nests
- 1,100 leaves with mines and galls
- 10,000 larvae
- 2,200 cocoons
- 28,000 preparations for microscopy
- 125,000 items stored in alcohol
The most important individual collections, now collided to form a general collection, are those of Klug, Foerster, Pfannkuch, Stitz, Friese, Conde, Bischoff and Muche.
Friese’s bee collection is of particular value, as it contains species and types from all continents. Furthermore, the collection contains remarkable material from the former German colonies.
From 1992, vast amounts of material were collected during numerous research trips into the Afrotropic eco region, especially to Southern Africa and South East Asia.