What kind of bee is this? #622818 - Ask Extension

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What kind of bee is this? #622818

Asked April 09, 2020, 10:53 PM EDT

Can you help identify this little guy please? Non aggressive, have hundreds of them buzzing around our lawn/dandelion/clover. Come around 10am and leave 8pmish. Not sure where they come from or go. Don’t see any nests in the lawn, trees or eave. What are they? GO BEAVS!

Clackamas County Oregon

Expert Response

Our lovely weather has brought insects out in force. Insect identification from photos is difficult at best and impossible at worst because accurate identification can depend on characteristics that are only seen under a microscope. They might be mason bees or sweat bees, but again I can't see enough details to be confident of either answer.

 However, I do have some resources for you to help you in your detective work. The Oregon Bee Project of Oregon State University has collected a multitude of resources regarding insect pollinators. Under the tab “Bees” I found “Common Bee Pollinators of Oregon Crops” from the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  One of the visual clues is where the bees carry pollen. This differs between bee species.

University of Minnesota Extension has a “Basic Bee ID” card that is clear and easy to follow. And a final brochure from Portland Park and Recreation and The Xerces Society, “Bees of Portland” , is a nice pocket guide to print and have on hand.

Enjoy being a citizen scientist. Enjoy the sunshine and bees.

Anna Ashby Replied April 10, 2020, 1:41 PM EDT

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