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Identifying Bee Specimens

Bees are easy to trap and net, but difficult to identify.  Several keys and guides exist, but they need to be used in conjunction with review by experts.   We have developed online identification tools and can help you learn to id bees and check your identifications.

In the Data and Tools section of this website we outline and link to many identification tools, talk about our id workflow, and present specimen preparation that most supports the ID and databasing process.

We have worked with many experts and technicians to guide the development of Discoverlife identification tools.  Those tools are available here with a listing of the 100+ guides here.  We encourage researchers to work with us to augment these guides by extending them to the west and north; sending us notes about errors or difficult to understand wording; sending us photographs to illustrate the guides; adding literature to the species pages; and linking and using them in their work and websites.  Note, see the Data & Tools section for links to several other identification guides.

We are happy to host researchers and practitioners in our lab to learn to identify bees and to review identifications of their specimens.  We can also help you locate groups that will identify your specimens for you.