Coordinating to identify all bee or wasp observations by US State

This topic is for sharing progress updates, notes, or states which could use coordinated identifier help. For bee observations specifically, most states have less than 6,000 observations, and nine have less than 2,000. California, Texas, New York, Ohio, and Missouri have greater than 30,000 observations each, and there are more than 600,000 in the US as a whole (which includes Hawaii and possibly US territories). If any identifiers have time, it would help to coordinate to ID all observations by state one state at a time. It may be the only way to catch up for some states. So far, only Hawaii’s observations have been essentially all identified.

Bee observations in thousands (rounded down) per US State (bold indicates recent checklist publications or pollinator surveys):

  • 675k: US total
  • 118k: CA
  • 73k: TX
  • 38k: NY
  • 36k: OH
  • 34k: MO
  • 27k: MA, MN
  • 23k: IL
  • 21k: VA
  • 18k: FL
  • 17k: NC, PA, VT, WA
  • 15k: MD
  • 12k: OR
  • 11k: CO, CT, MI
  • 10k: WI
  • 8k: IN, NJ
  • 7k: AZ, GA, TN
  • 5k: NM, UT
  • 4k: AL, LA, ME, OK, SC
  • 3k: DC, IA, ID, KY, NE, NH
  • 2k: AR, KS, MS, NV
  • 1k: AK, DE, HI, MT, ND, RI, SD, WV, WY

Bees: percent Research Grade per State (bold: states with approx. all obs. identified):

91%: HI
82%: FL, LA
77%: MS
76%: AL
73%: MO
72%: AR, SC
70%: CT
69%: NY
68%: IA, RI
67%: IL, OK
66%: OH
65%: GA, KY, TX, WV
64%: DC, NC
63%: TN, VT
62%: DE
61%: IN
60%: CO, MA, ME, NJ
59%: AZ, CA, KS, MN, MT, NE
58%: MI, NH, VA
57%: WI
56%: SD
55%: PA
54%: MD
53%: ND
52%: NM, NV
46%: UT
43%: ID
36%: AK, OR
34%: WA
27%: WY


The results of a recent survey in northern New Mexico will be available soon


I’m surprised SC doesn’t have more observations given how many I see. I sometimes wonder if too many people are afraid getting close enough to a bee to take good photos not realizing if a bee is busy pollinating a flower it is extremely unlikely to sting someone.

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I completed a survey of NW Louisiana bee fauna about 2 years ago that will be published in the Washington society journal (Smithsonian) in January or February. We discovered 6 undescribed species of bees and 23 range extensions of existing species. This entire region had never been surveyed. Those are over a thousand of the bees you mentioned for Louisiana.


I don’t see Vermont in the list of observation numbers…

Looks like VT belongs in the 17K group

I’m actually surprised OK doesn’t have more. We do a pretty big bioblitz every year on inat, and insects usually get a decent showing. Maybe I need to get better at making bee observations.

Added now.

Update: I added percent bee observation Research Grade by US State to the top.

One simple way to help push stuff to research grade is to filter bees that are ranked subfamily and higher. Many of them simply need one more person to agree to an ID which will push the initial ID to maverick status and the ID to RG.

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anyone else finding that it’s spring bees that are under-identified? No matter what state I poke around in I find myself identifying a million Andrena

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Great suggestion. I just finished reviewing Hymenoptera in NM at family or higher. I might try the same for neighboring states next. So many Ichneumons and Braconids!!

Today, there was a male Agapostemon that had sat at order level for over 2 years.

This was true for New York State. Spring Andrena and Colletes are difficult and can look like each other. I also find Andrena, Colletes, and others like Dialictus, Sphecodes, and Nomada are often difficult in general to refine to species.

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