Bee ID Charts
And Resources

Here, you'll find links to my favourite bee ID charts and resources, to help you spot the different types of bees. There are even a couple of downloadable books and papers.

However, distinguishing between the bee species can sometimes be tricky, so as well as printing out these charts and scouring the sites below, you might like to take a look at my other page about bee identification.

Identifying bees is not always easy! Some may be mistaken for black flies.Identifying bees is not always easy!

We often think of bees as being quite round, fluffy with black, yellow and white stripes.  However, some are very small and dark.  Some may be mistaken for black flies!

Heriades truncorum – the Large-headed resin bee - is actually tiny, and perhaps not what we first think of when we consider what bees look like.Heriades truncorum – the Large-headed resin bee - is actually tiny, and perhaps not what we first think of when we consider what bees look like.

Free Downloadable And Printable Bee ID Charts

Please be patient when downloading these identification posters and charts, as some of them can be a little slow - but worth the wait!

More Bees Please!
A favourite UK bee ID chart (poster) featuring different types of bees. Can be printed out on poster sized paper. A lovely chart to take for a walk, and great for the kid's wall.

Bumblebees Of The Eastern United States
Outstanding general information and identification guide, 104 pages free to download! A PDF file. Produced by the USDA, Pollinator Partnership and others. 

This is a Bombus lapidarius male - a good guide book will help you to identify between the sexes.This is a Bombus lapidarius male - a good guide book will help you to identify between the sexes.

Bumblebees of the Western United States
Another excellent document produced by the same organisations as above.  A total 144 pages (PDF) full of excellent information.  One of the best bee ID guides I have come across, and free to download!

US Bumblebees - 11 Species
A simple chart showing the markings of 11 species of US bumblebees.

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British Bumblebees
A link to full colour images of bumblebees, with links to information about 6 of the most common British species, as well as less common and rare bumblebees.

Xerces Bumblebee Guides
Xerces have produced several bumble bee pocket identification guides of species found in the US & Canada, which can be downloaded from this page, as well as guides to identifying other invertebrate species.

Natural History Museum - Quick Guide to British Big 6 Bumblebees
A small printable bumble bee ID guide, featuring the 6 most common British bumblebees.

More On-Line Resources For Bee Identification

Click on the links below - please note, clicking on the links opens a new window.

NHM Bumblebees Of The World
The Natural History Museum of London has put together a resource for identifying the bumblebees of the world, using a key system, and split by geographical region.

Bumblebees Of US & Canada
This link takes you to the NHM resource to ID bee species in the US and Canada.

Bug Guide For The US & Canada
Excellent and very comprehensive resource not only for bee identification but also other hymenoptera as well as insects and spiders.

Australian Museum: Bee Scene
Lots of information about bees with photographs and images to help identify Australian species.  Copy and paste this link into a new page:

Bee Genera of Eastern Canada
Whilst this is not a bee ID chart, there are some useful photographs of bee species, including solitary bees. Please note, the file can take a little time to download.

Hymenoptera Of The World
Bees belong to the insect order, Hymenoptera. (Read more about Hymenoptera ). This is a whole book, free to download (again, a little slow): "Hymenoptera: An Identification Guide to Families".

Learn more:

Bee Identification

Types Of Bees

About Bees

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