Guide to Native Bees in North Carolina

Here is a “honey” of a bee book that can be a guide to the identification of some of the more than 500 “other” North Carolina native bee species visiting the flowers in pollination gardens or flower beds. This book is published and distributed by UNC Press for NC State Extension and is described as follows:

“Identifying bees on the wing is known to be tricky. The Bees of North Carolina: An Identification Guide is a beginner’s resource designed to help quickly and generally identify native bees in North Carolina. Developed by experts at NC State Extension, it provides an overview of some of the most common groups of bees in the state. The guide will help users learn to recognize bees according to key characteristics and, eventually, according to their overall appearance.”

Thanks are due to authors Hannah Levenson, Graduate Research Associate, Entomology & Plant Pathology at NC State University and Dr. Elsa Youngsteadt, Assistant Professor, Extension Urban Ecology Specialist, for this excellent publication. The authors mention that even in December and January, you may often see Small Carpenter Bees (Ceratina), Sweat Bees (Lasioglossum) and Metallic Green Sweat Bees (Augochlora) out foraging with your honey bees on warm days.

The guide is available now to download as a FREE pdf file HERE

Paperback copies will be available from UNC Press for $14 in January 2020 and are available for pre-order HERE

Here are a few selected images of native bees that have visited our Burlington apiary and garden.

Female Cuckoo Leafcutter bee (Coelioxys) on Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum)

Mining Bee (Andrena) on Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea)

Long-horned bee (Melissodes bimaculatus) on Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia rotundifolia)

Metallic Green Sweat Bee (Augochlora) on Cranesbill Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Sweat Bee (Halictus ligatus) on Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

American Bumble Bee (Bombus pensylvanicus) nectaring on Giant Blue Lobelia (Lobelia siphilitica)