Wednesday, June 21, 2023

Explore Outdoors ~ Go on a Bee Walk

 One of the best ways to get to know your local pollinators is to go outside and meet them. So today let's head out and meet some bees. 

First, a bit about what bees look like. They have three body parts (head, thorax, abdomen), long slender antennae, large multi-faceted eyes, two pair of wings (that's 4 wings in all!) and, if they're female, a stinger at the end of their abdomen. 

Chances are you're familiar with your neighborhood bumble bees and honey bees, and you may have met a few shiny metallic green sweat bees. For this bee walk, take a notebook and pencil - or a camera - so you can take notes, draw pictures, or take photos of bees you see along the way.

Things to observe on your bee walk:
  • how big is your bee?
  • what colors does it have on its abdomen?
  • what is the pattern of the colors?
  • does it have longer antennae than other bees?
  • is its abdomen flattish?
  • what sort of sound does it make?
  • what flowers does it visit?
  • also note the date, time of day, and basic weather observations
If you are looking for bee guides, you can find a short North American Bee Identification Guide (free) at Pollinator Partnership. They have some state guides as well. They have a longer Beginner Bee Field Guide available for free download as well.

Happy Bee watching!

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