Guide to NC Native Bees

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 bee species visiting the flowers in pollination gardens or flower beds. The guide is available as a free PDF. (Paperback copies are also available for $14.) It’s published 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 NCSU, 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.

Here are a few selected images of native bees that have visited Geoff and Linda Leister’s Burlington apiary and garden.