Classifying Bee Species

There are lots of bee-like insects buzzing around your backyard. Here are some tips to help you classify some of the bee species nearest you. 

By Judy Burris and Wayne Richards

Tiny insects are living extraordinary lives right in your backyard. With up-close photography and personal field notes, The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs (Storey Publishing, 2011) by Judy Burris and Wayne Richards reveals an amazing world that many of us never see. This thrilling glimpse into the activities going on in every backyard will surprise and captivate nature lovers of all ages.  

Buy this book from the GRIT store: The Secret Lives of Backyard Bugs.

Classifying Bee Species

Order: Hymenoptera 

Bees get a lot more respect than wasps, probably because they help humans more directly, providing honey and beeswax. They’re industrious, too, working all day to gather nectar and pollen, using their long, complex tongue (called a proboscis) to reach into flowers.