One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve – Bee Quiz!

Hey there!

I–Hickory–posted a little tribute to bees in my Monday’s column, then Nutmeg grabbed the idea and ran with it. She’s encouraged me to quiz our human readers at bit more with a few bee and bee relative photos we’ve received from one of our readers–thank you, Nancy!

So, here’s my idea. I’ll just number the photos and you humans can make your guesses for it you think it’s a honeybee, a different type of bee, a wasp or a hornet. And, if you are really into the identification, you can use the Native Bees of North America on Bug Guide to try your hand at a more specific identification. We have most of these identified, but not all of them–fair warning that I can’t claim we’re experts on bees and bee relatives.

For some general identification reminders, scroll back or click back to Friday’s post.

Even if you only know one or a few of them, guess! Use the number above the photo with your answer.

And here we go!


mystery bee #1


2. mystery bee


3. Mystery bee


4. Mystery bee


5. Mystery bee


6. Mystery bee


7 Mystery bee


8 mystery bee


9. Mystery bee


10 Mystery bee

I’ll check back later for your answers!


Hi folks! We had one brave human post answers to our quiz–thanks, Kalamain from the UK! If you checked the comments, Kalamain got some correct and some wrong, and two we now aren’t sure of! Told you, we are not experts. I will note those two, and please if anyone knows the correct identification, on those or any, please speak up! We are not at all bashful about correcting our mistakes.

#1 Yellow Bumble Bee

#2 Wasp on Lateflowering Thoroughwort (see the pinched ‘waist’–that usually indicates a wasp, though we squirrels just sort of gleaned that from somewhere and none of us can recall where.)

#3 Honeybee on aster (This is one we now question!)

#4 Diadasia, we believe, from looking at Bug Guide

#5 European Hornet (That biting mouth for eating the insects can seen!)

#6 Honeybee in rose

#7 Unknown native bee in a Morning Glory (Well, we agree it’s a bee, but we didn’t think it was the same species as #3 until Kalamain pointed that out…so it might be!)

#8 Paper wasp on a milkweed leaf

#9 Common Eastern Bumble Bee in a Thistle (Thought this might be a carpenter bee, but we, uh, didn’t know how to tell when the photo was didn’t get a look or a photo of the back. It looks a bit fuzzier than photos we’ve seen of carpenter bees, so we picked bumble bee.)

#10 Common Eastern Bumble Bee on a daisy (We believe! ID photos seem to have variable abdomens–from all black to striped, so we’re a bit confused.)

We’re looking forward to hearing if anyone disagrees or agrees–confirmation is good, as we squirrels have witnessed human birdwatchers doing over and over!

5 thoughts on “One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve – Bee Quiz!

  1. Ok… I don’t know many US specific insects (I’m a Brit)… But I can go for generalities.

    1 – Bumble Bee
    2 – Wasp (Solitary)
    3 – Fly (Bee Fly)
    4 – Bumble Bee (Possibly a Carder)
    5 – Wasp
    6 – Honey Bee
    7 – Fly (The same Bee Fly as #3!)
    8 – Wasp (Maybe a Hornet?)
    9 – Bee (Possibly an Ashy Mining Bee?)
    10 – Bumble Bee (Looks like an older Carder bee)

    How did I do? B-)

    • Yeah, Kalamain! You have a number of these right and made us go check #3 & 7… we think those are Honeybees, those they do not seem to be as fuzzy on the abdomen. When we looked up Bee flies, they are like little fuzz balls, with fur everywhere. Maybe they are different in the UK? We do appreciate seeing someone dig into this quiz! Thanks for dropping in!

  2. Pingback: Happy Pollinator Week! | the squirrel nutwork

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