Welcome to The Pittioni Bee Collection

Professor Doctor Bruno Pittioni (4 April 1906-28 July 1952) worked at the Hymenoptera Section of the Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria from 1946-1952, reaching the grade of Kustos I. Klasse (Curator, 1st class) and heading the Hymenoptera section. He was a specialist on Apoidea and studied various genera, publishing many influential papers on bees. Bruno was encouraged in early life by his father Emmanuel Pittioni, who while working in another field, also collected and also had a very good knowledge of European bees. A large bee collection made by Bruno Pittioni is held by the Natural History Museum, London, also a card index to the collection, and index to the genus Bombus. The collection was received as register BMNH(E)1954-79 as part of the Turner bequest. The Entomology library holds a Xerox copy of Pittioni’s manuscript ‘Die Bienen des Wiener-Beckens und des Neusiedlersee-Gebeites’ the original of which is in the Natural History Museum, Vienna. Obituaries are given by Anon (1952), Krunert (1952) and Beier (1953), the latter giving a list of publications and a portrait photograph.

The card index to Bruno Pittioni’s bee collection is of considerable interest in its own right and as an aid to the study of his collection at the Natural History Museum, London. A typical card includes the scientific name of the bee then current, the collecting location, date, number and sex of bees captured, scientific name of any flowers visited by the bees, name of the collector (Pittioni received some of his specimens from other colleagues) and the person who identified the bee. This thorough and systematic record is of value today for the study of pollination especially since the records can be verified by reference to specimens the collection. While the records relate predominantly to Austria Pittioni’s collection included specimens from many other European countries.

  • Anon (attributed to “R.”). 1952. Prof. Dr. Bruno Pittioni. Zeitschrift der Wiener Entomologiscen gesellschaft 37: 186.
  • Beier, M., 1953. Kustos Dr. Bruno Pittioni. Ann. Naturhiist. Mus. Wien. 1952/53 59: 17-22, pl. 3.
  • Krunert, H. 1952. Herrn Prof. Dr. Bruno Pittioni zum Gedenken. Entomologisches Nachrichtenblatt Österreichischer und Schweizer Entomologen 4: 53-54.

The purpose of this site is to make available the index to the Pittioni Bee Collection (held at the Natural History Museum, London), which contains valuable information not recorded on the specimens. This information is useful to many entomologists, including those interested in pollinators.

The index has been scanned and the resulting images have been made available on the site. In return for making these images available we ask people using the site to transcribe a number of the cards. This process will allow us to develop the Index from a set of images into a searchable database, greatly enhancing it's usefulness.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith