Native Bee Resources

Want to learn more about our amazing diversity of native bee species. Here is a nice video providing a brief overview of native bees.

Native Bee Pocket Identification Guide: This is an identification guide created by Xerces for the state of Pennsylvannia. It will be quite useful for most bees that you will encounter in Massachusetts. Link:

Bee Basics – An introduction to out native bees: This is an absolutely fantastic and free document that gives an overview of bee biology, conservation, and It also has beautiful artwork and is easy to understand. Link:

Louie Schwartzberg’s incredible film on pollination.


Xerces Foundation: This is a nice page about ways to conserve pollinators.

Xerces Foundation: This is a nice overview of native bee biology.

The Buzz on Native Bees. This is a nice blog post about native bees from 2013. It is from the USGS and their staff scientist Dr. Hannah Hamilton.

Native bee identification adaptive key from Discoverlife: This is an excellent resource to key out native bees to genus or species. With a little bit of knowledge of bee morphology, you can identify most bees in the Northeast US to genus. Link:

USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab: This site has amazing photographs of native bees and other insects. Sam Droege is also an amazing biologist, scientist, and person. Link:

Here is an example of a few photos that you can find on the website. These photos are all part of the public domain and can be reused for any purpose. See Sam’s flickr page for more details.

Handy Dandy Bee Manual: Fantastic resource and guide useful when doing conservation, research, or monitoring project on native bees. The Handy Dandy Bee manual has the protocols and background material needed to do most types of bee monitoring, including how to process and store specimens. Link:

Bug Guide (Native Bee Photos): This is a terrific website that has a strong community base of naturalists that post and identify photographs of insects taken in the United States.


Wilson, J.S. & Carril O.M. The Bees in your backyard: A Guide to North American’s Bee. Princeton University Press. 2016.

Xerces Foundation. Pollinator Conservation Handbook

Michener, C. Bees of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2000

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