Winter Bee Watching? Join Mission Identify!

Just because it's cold outside, that doesn't mean you can't be learning about and contributing to our knowledge of Vermont wild bees. Winter is a great time to revisit observations on iNaturalist to refine identifications and add annotations that increase the value of the data.

To learn more about the identifying process, check out VCE's latest "mission":

Did you know from the identify window you can also add annotations?

In the "Annotation" tab, look for the "Observation Fields". There are thousands of fields to choose from, but for consistency, we recommend using those that begin with "interaction ->". In particular, "interaction -> visited flower of:" is helpful to document the flower that a bee was visiting. Your own observations are a good place to start, since identifying the plant is often easier with some memory of the observation/location. Not only is this useful information for bee biologists, it also allows anyone to explore the visitors of various plants. For example, here are 63 insects that have been marked as visiting goldenrod in VT:

Helpful hint: You can change the flower of interested by replacing the last number in the URL with the number from the iNaturalist taxa page (example:

Finally, if you find yourself overwhelmed with bee identifications, here are eight common species that are relatively distinctive, without look-a-likes:

Posted on 13 January, 2022 18:39 by kpmcfarland kpmcfarland


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