Use this handy weatherproof pocket guide to learn how to identify Bees of the Puget Sound Lowlands from Bellingham to Olympia. Easy to use, this fold-out guide organizes bees by genus and is color-coded based on where each bee species carries pollen – hind legs (in packets), hind legs (in hairs), or under abdomen (in hairs). Look for insects carrying pollen and follow the guide’s clues like bee size, body-color, where they build nests, and when they are actively flying.
Our Field Guide to Bees of the Puget Sound Lowlands, the first guide of its kind in our region, was created to help you recognize and appreciate some of the common bees of our region. 100 bee species in 22 genera were found in Seattle in our recent survey conducted with Seattle City Light and the Port Authority. The survey tracked both native and introduced bees, so both are represented here. While bees are a natural part of our ecosystem, agriculture and climate change cause species to move, and some once common species are now at risk.
For many people, bee equals honey bee, not realizing there are 20,000 species of bee in the world that are nothing like a honey bee in either looks or behavior. Most bees rarely sting, few make honey, and they come in a wide array of colors and sizes. Bee behavior is astonishingly diverse: from hard-working single mothers like Osmia to vigilant males who patrol their territories like Anthidium. And all of our bees play a key role in ensuring that our plant life is diverse and our dinner tables varied.