‘Bumblebees are members of the same family of bees as honeybees, the Apidae, and neither honeybees nor bumblebees are native to New Zealand. Bumblebee species were introduced from the United Kingdom for the pollination of red clover at the turn of the 20th century, with four species becoming established.

Many of the bees in New Zealand are introduced honeybees and bumblebees, brought here to pollinate crops. But among the 41 species found here, there are 28 little-known native bees. These bees, which range in size from 4-12 millimetres long, belong to three different genera: Leioproctus, Hylaeus and Lasioglossum.