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.

Free Downloadable And Printable Bee ID Charts

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

Heriades truncorum – the Large-headed resin bee - perched on a fingertip.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.

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

Pollinator Partnership Bee ID Guides
A selection of charts to help you identify bees in your backyard, farm, school, or park.  Regional guides.

Bumble bees 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. 

Bumble bees 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!

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

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

More On-Line Resources For Bee Identification

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

NHM Bumble bees 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.

Bumble bees 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.

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leafcutter bee on sweet pea plant sweet peas for bees