Biodiversity Science ›› 2018, Vol. 26 ›› Issue (5): 486-497.doi: 10.17520/biods.2018068

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Species diversity, pollination application and strategy for conservation of the bumblebees of China

Jiaxing Huang, Jiandong An*()   

  1. Institute of Apicultural Research, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory for Insect-Pollinator Biology of the Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100093
  • Received:2018-03-05 Accepted:2018-04-10 Online:2018-09-11
  • An Jiandong
  • About author:

    # Co-first authors

Bumblebees are important pollinators of many wild flowers and crops and play a significant role in maintaining natural and agricultural ecosystems. The varied geomorphology and vegetation of China makes it the greatest hotspot of bumblebee diversity in the world. However, the bumblebee fauna of China has been insufficiently studied. Here, we report the results of systematic field surveys and the application of bumblebees to pollination over the last two decades in China. The results showed the following: (1) More than 50,000 bumblebee specimens were collected during 2002-2017. The taxonomic status of some difficult taxa was revealed by integrating morphology with DNA barcoding. A total of 125 bumblebee species have been identified, which represents 50% of the total number of bumblebee species worldwide. (2) We report the first compiled list of the bumblebee species of China, which includes 22 species that are endemic to China. The transitional zone from the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau to the Loess Plateau, the Qinling Mountains, and the Sichuan Basin is the centre of bumblebee diversity worldwide. (3) Six native bumblebee species, including Bombus lucorum, B. patagiatus, B. ignitus, B. pyrosoma, B. picipes and B. lantschouensis from Northern China, were selected for rearing between 1998-2017. Furthermore, B. patagiatus and B. lantschouensis, which had traits that favoured domestication, are now used as pollinators of crops in greenhouses within China. We propose a multi-pronged strategy to conserve the native bumblebees of China, which includes protecting their habitats and food resources and controlling invasive alien species and pesticide use. We hope that this study will help inform the conservation and the sustainable use of wild pollinators across the globe, but especially bumblebees of China.

Key words: pollinator, bumblebee, field survey, rearing selection, pollination, conservation

Fig. 1

Map of China showing the distribution sites of the bumblebees of China used the records of the collection of Institute of Apicultural Research of Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences between 2002-2017."

Table 1

List of the bumblebee species of the genus Bombus in China. * Species endemic to China."

物种 Species 物种 Species
短颊熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) angustus * 红束熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) rufofasciatus
短头熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) breviceps 西氏熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) sichelii
颊熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) genalis 莺熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) tanguticus
灰熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) grahami 凸污熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) convexus *
克什米尔熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) kashmirensis 松熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) defector
显熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) nobilis 马卡熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) makarjini
壮熊蜂 Bombus (Alpigenobombus) validus * 马格熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) margreiteri
混熊蜂 Bombus (Bombias) confusus 华丽熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) superbus *
隐熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) cryptarum 土耳其熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) turkestanicus
小峰熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) hypocrita 稳纹熊蜂 Bombus (Mendacibombus) waltoni
红光熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) ignitus 娇熊蜂 Bombus (Orientalibombus) braccatus *
兰州熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) lantschouensis 埋熊蜂 Bombus (Orientalibombus) funerarius
长翅熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) longipennis 红尾熊蜂 Bombus (Orientalibombus) haemorrhoidalis
明亮熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) lucorum 巴氏熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) barbutellus
岷山熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) minshanensis * 贝拉熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) bellardii
密林熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) patagiatus 牛熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) bohemicus
散熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) sporadicus 布氏熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) branickii
地熊蜂 Bombus (Bombus) terrestris 田野熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) campestris
卡氏熊蜂 Bombus (Cullumanobombus) cullumanus 中华熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) chinensis *
索熊蜂 Bombus (Kallobombus) soroeensis 韩熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) coreanus
侧白熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) albopleuralis 角熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) cornutus
双色熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) bicoloratus 埃熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) expolitus *
亲熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) consobrinus 费熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) ferganicus
茨氏熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) czerskii 单带熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) monozonus *
长颊熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) hortorum 莫氏熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) morawitzianus
朝鲜熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) koreanus 挪威熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) norvegicus
长足熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) longipes * 崖熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) rupestris
玛氏熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) malaisei 斯科熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) skorikovi
山岭熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) montivagus 寓林熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) sylvestris
圣熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) religiosus * 西藏熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) tibetanus *
安熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) securus * 图氏熊蜂 Bombus (Psithyrus) turneri
越熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) supremus * 常熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) avanus
苏氏熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) sushkini s. l. 毕氏熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) biroi
遆氏熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) tichenkoi s. l. 黄熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) flavescens
三条熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) trifasciatus * 眠熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) hypnorum
乌苏里熊蜂 Bombus (Megabombus) ussurensis 稀熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) infrequens
萃熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) eximius 柔熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) infirmus *
白背熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) festivus 拉普熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) lapponicus
弗里熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) friseanus 饰带熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) lemniscatus
昆仑熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) keriensis 小雅熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) lepidus
拉达克熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) ladakhensis 黄足熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) luteipes
银珠熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) miniatus 谦熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) modestus
火红熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) pyrosoma * 洁熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) parthenius s. l.
雀熊蜂 Bombus (Melanobombus) richardsiellus 重黄熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) picipes *

Table 1


物种 Species 物种 Species
早熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) pratorum 黑足熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) atripes
缢熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) pressus 德熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) deuteronymus
圆头熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) rotundiceps 纤熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) exil
楚南熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) sonani * 盗熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) filchnerae
白尾熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) subtypicus 锈红熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) hedini
王氏熊蜂 Bombus (Pyrobombus) wangae * 褐纹熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) humilis
亚洲熊蜂 Bombus (Sibiricobombus) asiaticus 仿熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) imitator *
默氏熊蜂 Bombus (Sibiricobombus) morawitzi 兴熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) impetuosus
谢氏熊蜂 Bombus (Sibiricobombus) semenovi 拉熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) laesus
西伯熊蜂 Bombus (Sibiricobombus) sibiricus 藓状熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) muscorum
阿穆尔熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) amurensis 富丽熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) opulentus
猛熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) difficillimus 牧场熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) pascuorum
卓熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) distinguendus 拟贝熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) pseudobaicalensis
芳香熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) fragrans 疏熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) remotus *
黑尾熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) melanurus 红柄熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) ruderarius
伪猛熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) personatus 斯氏熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) schrencki
短毛熊蜂 Bombus (Subterraneobombus) subterraneus 三角熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) tricornis
舞熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) anachoreta 长头熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) veteranus
杏色熊蜂 Bombus (Thoracobombus) armeniacus

Fig. 2

Map of China showing variation in bumblebee species richness across China measured as the number of species recorded within each grid cell of 3° longitude × 3° latitude."

Fig. 3

Six Chinese bumblebee species that have been selected for rearing and pollination. Bumblebee colonies include: (1) Bombus patagiatus, (2) B. pyrosoma, (3) B. ignitus, (4) B. lantschouensis, (5) B. picipes, (6) B. lucorum."

Fig. 4

Two Chinese bumblebee species have been used for pollination of crops in greenhouses. (1) shows a worker of Bombus patagiatus visiting an eggplant flower, and (2) shows a worker of B. lantschouensis visiting a peach flower."

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