BEES IN BRITISH MUSEUM. 309 NOTES ON SOME BEES IN THE BRITISH MUSEUM. BY T. D. A. COCKERELL. As is well known to all Hymenopterists, the British Museum con-tains one of the most valuable collections in this group in existence, notwithstanding the fact that it has received little attention during recent years. The ants, at the present time, are being carefully put in order by Colonel Bingham ; but the bees have never been rearranged since the death of Mr. F. Smith, about twenty-six years ago. To bring the collection of bees into harmony with mod-ern ideas, and to incorporate and identify the great accumulations at present crowded unarranged in the accession drawers, would be a gigantic but most interesting task. No doubt there are hundreds of new species waiting to be described by anyone who has the time and ability to take them in hand. Some of the material comes from the most out-of-the-way regions, and will throw much light on prob-lems of geographical distribution ; some belong to genera of which many Apidologists have never seen a specimen. During my short recent visit to the Museum I naturally gave most of my attention to the types of F. Smith, of which no less than 238 belong to North American species. The descriptions of many of these, though good for the time when they were written, are inadequate for modern requirements. Characters which amply distinguished a given species from all then known, may be found today to be common to two or more species, which must be separa-ted by other more subtle marks. Hence it seemed desirable to take notes on most of the North American species, for the purpose of more accurately fixing their identity. At the same time, notes were made on many others, and especially on some of the rare and inter-esting genera which I had never seen before. It is hoped that all these will be found of interest to American and other Apidologists, but of course it will be recognized that they represent only a small part of the work which needs to be done upon the types in the British Museum. I am greatly indebted to Mr. W. F. Kirby and Colonel Bingham for their kindness to me during ray visits to the Museum. TRANS. AM. ENT. SOC. XXXI. AUGUST, 1905.