Visual Guide to 16 Types of Bees in Your Garden

Can you tell a bee from a wasp? Or a honeybee from a carpenter bee?

These vital pollinators can be tricky to tell apart at first glance, but this visual guide can help you identify the most common bees in your backyard

Once you realize just how vast and interesting these insects are, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation for all types of bees, not just honeybees.

Squash bee (genera Peponapis and Xenoglossa)


They’re large and bulky like bumblebees, but are more similar to honeybees in their coloring. Compared to honeybees, they have rounder faces and longer antennae.


The females of this species are similar in appearance to bumblebees but smaller. They are black and furry with orange hairs on their hind legs.

Hairy-footed flower bee (Anthophora plumipes)


The females are the same size as honeybees. They have a shiny black abdominal area that can appear blue in some lights. The males are smaller and have less easily recognizable markings than the females.

Ashy mining bee (Andrenidae cineraria)


Female tawny mining bees are similar in size to honeybees. They have thick, reddish-orange hair on their thoraxes. Male tawny mining bees are thinner and smaller than their female counterparts.

Tawny mining bee (Andrenidae fulva)


Ivy bees belong to the family Colletidae and are known as a type of plasterer bee or cellophane bee due to the way they line their nests. They’re slightly bigger than honeybees and have ginger-colored thorax regions.

Ivy bees (genus Colletes)

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