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Bee Identification

For definitive identification of many bee species, close inspection of insect morphology (wing veins, leg parts, etc.) is required. This necessitates having specimens in hand to observe features under a microscope or through a hand lens. Numerous entomology texts detail how to collect and curate bees and other insects.

Some excellent online tools are also available, including the following web-based pictorial guides:

In addition to physically collecting insects, digital photography is increasingly being used to identify some bees. Digital photos of NYC bees (and of any North American insect) can be submitted to BugGuide for identification. Provided that relevant structures of the insect are in focus, bee and other insect taxonomy experts should be able to identify the insect in your image. BugGuide guide pages cover most species regularly identified from NewYork City.