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Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Looking for a good place to ID bees


I am having a hard time finding a detailed resource for identifying bees. Just in my garden near Des Moines, Iowa, I've seen close to twenty different types and colorations of bees, yet a good source for identification seems to elude me. Any suggestions, either books or websites? Thanks.


There are many resources for identifying bees (and other insects).  I am biased, but I think the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America is a great book (I am principal author).

Online, a good place to start is Bugguide, though it has become a little elitist for my liking.  I still volunteer as an editor there:

There is also an online interactive key to bees through DiscoverLife website:

You might also try a Google search for "pollinators" or "solitary bees" or "native bees" for more links, book resources, etc.

Good luck.


Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Eric R. Eaton


I answer insect and spider identification questions ONLY. Attach images if possible. No "what bit me?", "what do I feed this bug in captivity?", or science fair project questions please. NO TECHNICAL QUESTIONS ABOUT INSECT PHYSIOLOGY.


Principal author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America. Professional entomologist employed previously at University of Massachusetts, Chase Studio, Inc., and Cincinnati Zoo; contract work for West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Smithsonian Institution, and Portland (Oregon) State University.

Author, Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Missouri Conservationist magazine, Ranger Rick, Birds & Blooms, Timeline (journal of the Ohio Historical Society). I have contributed to several books as well.

Oregon State University, undergraduate major in entomology, did not receive degree.

Awards and Honors
One of the top 50 experts in all categories for, 2009.

Past/Present Clients
Principal author of the Kaufman Field Guide to Insects of North America, Smithsonian Institution (contract), Cincinnati Zoo (employer), Portland State University (contract), Chase Studio, Inc (employer), Arkansas Museum of Discovery (guest speaker). Currently seeking speaking engagements, leadership roles at nature festivals, workshops, and ecotours.

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