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Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes (2023)

Chapter: Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
×
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Suggested Citation:"Appendix C: Bee and Bee Group Recognition." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2023. Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/27071.
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Page 340

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C-1 Appendix C Bee and Bee Group Recognition C.1 Recognizing Bees Distinguishing floral visitors such as butterflies, beetles, and moths from bees is fairly straightforward, but separating bees from wasps or flies can be more difficult (Figure C-1 and Table C-1). Figure C-1. Common floral visitors: butterfly (top left), bee (top center), wasp (top right), beetle (bottom left), moth (bottom center), fly (bottom right).

Appendix C. Bee and Bee Group Recognition C-2 Table C-1. Key characteristics of bees, and the flies and wasps that can be mistaken for them. Floral  Visitor  Wings  Body Shape,  Size  Hairs on Body  Body Color  Body Patterns  Pollen‐Carrying Structures  Antennae  Bees  4 wings   (2 pairs)  Robust body,  constricted  waist  Hairy bodies,  often with a  fuzzy  appearance  Black, brown,  orange, red, or  metallic green  blue, or copper  Some species have  stripes of hairs on  abdomen  Female bees carry pollen on  their bodies in corbicula  (concave pollen basket) or  scopa (specialized longer  hairs on hind legs or long  hairs underside of  abdomen)  Slender, long antennae,  typically with a distinct  elbow  Wasps  4 wings  (2 pairs)  Slender body,  constricted  waist  Not hairy  Black, brown,  red, orange,  yellow, or  metallic blue or  green  Stripes on exoskeleton  (not stripes of hairs)  None  Slender, long antennae  Flies  2 wings  (1 pair)  Robust body,  no constricted  waist  Usually  without many  hairs  Black, brown,  yellow, metallic  blue or green  Stripes on exoskeleton  (not stripes of hairs)  None  Short, thick antennae 

Appendix C. Bee and Bee Group Recognition C-3 C.2 Recognizing Bee Groups Bees are difficult to identify to species or family without having pinned specimens. But bee richness at a site can be measured by identifying bees to groups based on their morphology (also known as morphogroups), which use characteristics that can be seen in the field to categorize bees. See Appendix E, Bumble Bee Recognition and Photography, for characteristics of bumble bees. Note that honey bees are not native to North America. When sampling for bees, distinguishing between honey bees and native bees is the most important observation one can make. C.2.1 Honey Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-2):  Size and shape: Medium to large with torpedo-shaped bodies  Color and hair: Amber-brown to nearly black; moderately fuzzy thorax and head, with less hairy legs and abdomen  Stripes: Abdomen tri-toned with black, pale, and orange-brown stripes  Corbicula: Concave flattened plates, fringed by a few long hairs, on hind legs to carry moist pollen Notes: Makes buzzing sound when flying and often flies methodically from flower the flower. Figure C-2. Honey bees.

Appendix C. Bee and Bee Group Recognition C-4 C.2.2 Chap Leg Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-3):  Size and shape: Medium to large, robust  Color and hair: Dark with white, yellow, or brown hairs; often hairy—especially on thorax—with short, dense, velvety hair  Stripes: Often with bands of pale hair on abdomen  Scopa: Carries dry pollen on noticeably longer, dense hairs on lower hind legs, but pollen is often on the whole body Notes: Antennae are typically longer than most other bees, especially on males. The legs of males are not as hairy as those of females because males do not transport pollen. Some fly fast (usually in smooth motions that almost look like they are tracing a figure 8) and can visit flowers rapidly. Figure C-3. Chap leg bees. C.2.3 Medium Dark Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-4):  Size and shape: Small to large; relatively narrow to moderately robust  Color and hair: Dull, dark-bodied; thorax and face are moderately hairy  Stripes: May have bands of pale hair on abdomen  Scopa: Carries pollen on upper hind legs and back of thorax (armpits)  Other notable feature: Face may have two hairy depressions between the eyes (Andrena) or be heart-shaped (Colletes) Notes: Among the first to emerge in early spring. Nest in the ground, often in large aggregations. Figure C-4. Medium dark bees.

Appendix C. Bee and Bee Group Recognition C-5 C.2.4 Green Sweat Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-5):  Size and shape: Medium sized, narrow bodied  Color and hair: Bright metallic green; abdomen can be green like the thorax, or dark with stripes; body covered in pale hairs that are less noticeable  Stripes: Some have yellow-and-black striped abdomens  Scopa: Carries dry pollen on hairs on hind legs, less noticeable than other bees unless covered in dry pollen Notes: Relatively fast flying and numerous. Antennae are short on females and longer on males. Figure C-5. Green sweat bees. C.2.5 Striped Sweat Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-6):  Size and shape: Small to medium, narrow bodied  Color and hair: Usually dark with bands of pale hairs on abdomen  Stripes: Stripes on abdomen may appear faint and vary in color from creamy to dark gray  Scopa: Brush of hair on upper part of hind legs, sometimes loaded with pollen Notes: May crawl around the base of flowers or inside flowers. Fast moving; sometimes with jagged movements. Figure C-6. Striped sweat bees.

Appendix C. Bee and Bee Group Recognition C-6 C.2.6 Tiny Dark Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-7):  Size and shape: Tiny and narrow bodied  Color and hair: Can be dull black/brown, pale golden, metallic black/brown or blue/green; sometimes with white or yellow markings on face; body sparsely covered in pale hairs that are less noticeable, but some with dense patches of hair on abdomen  Stripes: Faint stripes on abdomen, if any  Scopa: Small carpenter bees (Ceratina) and sweat bees (Halictus) have brushes of pollen collecting hairs on hind leg; yellow-faced bees (Hylaeus) carry pollen in a crop, and lack external scopa Notes: Often crawl deep into flowers. Can move fast—some with jagged movements. Figure C-7. Tiny dark bees. C.2.7 Hairy Belly Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-8):  Size and shape: Small to medium and typically very robust; often with a broad head and strong jaws used to cut leaves for nesting materials  Color and hair: Black with thorax and head covered in silver, white, or yellow hairs OR black with yellow markings on exoskeleton  Stripes: Abdomen has light hairs that create stripes, or markings are on exoskeleton  Scopa: Females carry dry pollen on thick hairs on underside of abdomen Notes: When visiting flowers, these bees often elevate abdomen, revealing pollen underneath. Figure C-8. Hairy belly bees.

Appendix C. Bee and Bee Group Recognition C-7 C.2.8 Metallic Hairy Belly Bees Key Characteristics (Figure C-9):  Size and shape: Small to medium, stout, robust bodies  Color and hair: Metallic green, blue, or bluish black; brushes of hair beneath abdomen— no prominent hair bands  Stripes: None  Scopa: Females carry dry pollen loads on underside of abdomen Notes: Among the first bees seen during the pollinating season. Most are observed in early spring and summer. As their name suggests, some species of Mason Bees gather mud and pebbles to construct their nests. These bees are also often called Orchard Bees, due to their frequent pollination of fruit tree blossoms. Figure C-9. Metallic hairy belly bees.

Next: Appendix D: Butterfly and Butterfly Group Recognition »
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Transportation agencies can make a difference for imperiled pollinators by managing existing roadside vegetation and designing new revegetation plantings with habitat needs in mind. This can generate public support for agencies and help to mitigate the negative ecological effects of roads.

NCHRP Web-Only Document 362: Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 5: Great Lakes, from TRB's National Cooperative Highway Research Program, is a 16-volume series. Each volume focuses on a specific region of the United States and is intended to provide relevant guidance to rights-of-way owners and operators for roadside vegetation management practices that support pollinators, as well as strategies that are compliant with the federal Endangered Species Act.

Supplemental to the document are a Dataset of Great Lakes Accessory Materials, a Communications Toolbox, a Conduct of Research Report, and a Video.

All the other volumes are available on the webpage for NCHRP Web-Only Document 362: Pollinator Habitat Conservation Along Roadways, Volume 1: Alaska.

The other volumes are:

Volume 1: Alaska

Volume 2: California

Volume 3: Florida

Volume 4: Great Basin

Volume 6: Hawaii

Volume 7: Inland Northwest

Volume 8: Maritime Northwest

Volume 9: Mid-Atlantic

Volume 10: Midwest

Volume 11: Northeast

Volume 12: Northern Plains

Volume 13: Rocky Mountains

Volume 14: Southeast

Volume 15: Southern Plains

Volume 16: Southwest

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