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Portland bee guide

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  • This guide is designed as a public tool, and an accompaniment to the online iNaturalist guide Summer Garden Bees of Portland. You can use this link to access it: https://beav.es/Tdj. The 67 bee species included in this guide were found in a three-year study of garden bee communities active during the summer months of 2017 - 2019, in the Portland Oregon metropolitan region (see “Background of the data supporting this guide” for more information on study methods). These 67 bee species belong to 19 genera and five families. This guide is not designed to be an identification guide. Identifying bees is notoriously difficult, particularly for smaller-bodied bees like Lasioglossum species. While it is certainly possible to learn to identify some of these bees to the species level, this guide does not contain the detail necessary for species identification. The level of detail included in this guide is suitable for anyone with an interest in bees, including those with limited or no knowledge of bee biology, ecology, or taxonomy. The intention of this guide is to help the public familiarize themselves with garden bees in the Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area, and to recognize the potential diversity in size, color, and life history traits of these bees. If bee taxonomy and identification something you are interested in learning about, you may consider the Master Melittologist Program at Oregon State University (OSU). This community science program contains a curriculum designed for anyone to gain expertise in bee family and genus-level identifications, so that they can help document the bees of Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. More information about this program, and other resources, are listed towards the end of this document, in the section titled “Additional Bee Identification/Taxonomy Resources”. We hope that this guide can make the world of garden bees accessible to anyone and everyone who is interested. Wondering what genus that super big, fuzzy bee you just saw was? What was that bright metallic green bee you saw on a sunflower earlier? Was that a bee, or a wasp? We’ll cover those questions, and more, in the iNaturalist guide and this document.
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  • Funding for this project was provided by donations to the Oregon State University Garden Ecology Lab from Y. Sherry Sheng & Spike Wadsworth and Sara Running, as well as grants from the Oregon Master Gardener Association (Extension Educator Grant), Clackamas County Master Gardener Association (Gray & Norrene Thompson Community Grant), and the OSU Extension Association (Hoeker Family Innovation Grant).
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