Bee and wasp ID is related to variation in anatomy. Anatomy is complex, but there are many good sources. Two well-known books are Bees of the World, and Bees of the Eastern United States.
And here are some great ID slideshows for all bee families and genera (to see, scroll to bottom of Presentations on right side, click Show more, then start at first one).
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Thanks, that is really cool, I think I have a couple of those, that will be a good read.
I would suggest though, that to say male bees never help the females is unfair to the Anthidium males, who so valiantly (and I’m sure selflessly) guard flowers for the females.
Oh, does it say that in the source? Yes, Anthidium males guard flowers females use. Did you have any more sources/tips to share for ID or anatomy?
The DiscoverLife website has guides to anatomy and interactive keys for several bee genera. Its been very helpful to my bee studies over the years. See: https://www.discoverlife.org/20/q?search=Apoidea
It’s not a cheap book but Dave Goulson’s Bumblebee, Behavior Ecology and Conservation is a very good read for those wanting to learn more about bumble bees specifically.
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