REGINA -- Saskatchewan researchers have named a new bee species after one of Canada’s most notable astronauts.

Dr. Cory Sheffield, the Royal Saskatchewan Museum’s (RSM) curator of invertebrate zoology, named his newest discovery “Andrena hadfieldi,” after Colonel Chris Hadfield.

“After I had finished my research on the specimen and confirmed that it was indeed a new species, I thought of Col. Hadfield, someone I have immense respect for, and asked him if he would be agreeable to having it named in his honour,” Dr. Sheffield said.

During his work categorizing bee specimens for the RSM, Sheffield noticed a unique female bee specimen. After another examination, he deduced he was looking at a new species of bee.

“Today, it is a privilege to name this new species Andrena hadfieldi after Canadian astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield for his many achievements as a pilot, astronaut, author, lecturer, and science educator.”

In a recent academic paper, Sheffield described the unique traits of the bee and explained the inspiration for its name.