Pollinator gardens attract a wide variety of bees. Honey Bees, yes, but also many local specialists. According to the Bees of North Carolina, there are 558 species of bees in the state. Here are some of my favorite photos of bees in the garden.

Honey Bee

About 400 years ago, settlers brought Honey Bees from Europe for their honey and wax. Now here in the States they are usually farmed beings, like cows or chickens. I see more Honey Bees here than all the other species combined.

Common Eastern Bumble Bee

The most common native bee is furrier, bigger, and more adorable than the Honey Bee.

Two-Spotted Bumble Bee

I started this page because I can’t tell a Two-Spotted Bumble Bee from a Common Eastern Bumble Bee. They are supposed to have two yellow spots on their abdomens, but I can’t see them. Can you? The hard yellow or orange blobs on their rear legs are pollen sacs, not the spots.

Eastern Carpenter Bee

These big bees stand out in the garden because of their shiny, leathery thoraxes.

Virginia Carpenter Bee

Notice the smaller dot on the back and the furrier thoraxes.

Small Carpenter Bee

I thought this tiny bee was a Hoverfly, but the experts on iNaturalist say he or she is a Small Carpenter Bee in the subgenus Zadontomerus.

Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee

This is not a Carpenter Bee, but evolved a shiny thorax to fool predators.

Brown-Belted Bee

Metallic Sweat Bee

Louisiana Dark-Painted Bee

Blueberry Digger Bee

Masked Bee