After all the waiting, the Great Georgia Pollinator Census is in August!

During the census, we will be differentiating between bees and flies and sometimes that can be intimidating. Don’t be concerned. Telling the difference between bees and flies is not difficult with some practice.

This bumblebee shows typical bee morphology:

  • hairy body
  • noticeable antennae
  • eyes towards the sides of the head
  • pollen gathering apparatus
  • four wings that fold over the body at rest
At close inspection this fly is noticeably different than a bee:
  • non-hairy body
  • less obvious antennae
  • eyes located more on top of the head
  • no pollen gathering apparatus
  • two wings
In the garden, it is difficult to count insect wings so look for the other differences.
Some flies are truly bee mimics. We often call them flower flies and you will probably find several in your pollinator garden. With just a bit of practice, you will master the difference between flies and bees and you will be ready for the census in August.
You can also connect with us on our Georgia Pollinator Census Facebook group. -Becky Griffin Project Coordinator beckygri@uga.edu