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Native Bee Art and Photography Contest 

Native bees are busy in our gardens and neighborhood green spaces at this time of the year in British Columbia. In this time of isolation and quarantine the Native Bee Society of BC would like to encourage our community to spend quality time in nature with the amazing native bees in our province. We would also like to give everyone the opportunity to connect with one another and share their artistic talents and bee adventures online.

In response, we're hosting a Spring Native Bee Photography & Art Contest


From now until May 15 we will accept photo and 2D art submissions centered around BC's native bees. Submissions will be featured on the NBSBC website and social media, and photo submissions will be identified by our taxonomists. 


All participants will be entered into a draw to win a hand-made bumble bee box, ready for next season!

Photos and art must focus on a native bee from your region (see bee guide below). To be eligible to win the bumble bee house you must include the following requirements along with your submission


For art submissions:

Artist name

- Age (for children & youth participants)

- Where you're from

- Title for art piece

- Brief story behind your piece (200 words or less)

For photo submissions:

Photographer's name

- Age (for children & youth participants) 

- Where the photo was taken / where you're from

- Brief story behind your photo (200 words or less)


Entries can be submitted to our email ( with title “Contest Submission - [Photographer/Artist Name]” or through Instagram, Facebook or Twitter


Did you know that flies and wasps are commonly mistaken for bees? 

So, we've put together this handy guide to help you tell the difference!

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Bees have...

Hairy bodies: While not true for all bees (looking at you Nomad bees) many bees are very furry, which helps them collect pollen from plants. 
Long antennae: Bees have a very good sense of smell having long antennae really helps them to find their food. Also male bees have longer antennae than females (see long-horn bee males)
Carrying pollen: Female bees collect pollen on their bodies (legs, abdomen etc) to feed their young. You can often see big clumps of pollen on their legs or underside.
Four wings: Flying insects in the order Hymenoptera have evolved  four (two pairs) of wings.
NOTE: Honey bees are not native species. Most native bees have no queen, no hive, no honey. Bumble bees are the exception- they do have these things but at a smaller scale than the European honey bee.
See examples of native bees by browsing the online portal of the Spencer Entomological Collection at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, here!

Flies have...

Big eyes: The eyes of flies which are often colourful typically cover the majority of the head.
Often not as furry or fuzzy: Though many have big long bristles or can have a furry thorax. 
Short antennae: Usually much much shorter than Hymenoptera (bees flies and wasps) often hard to see.
Only two wings: Diptera, the order for flies, means "two-wings" and this is because their second set of wings have become reduced to small appendages call halteres. Halteres are noticeable on some flies. 
Learn more about the differences between flies and bees by watching this video by Joe Wilson, co-author of The Bees in Your Backyard

Wasps have...

Very diverse and variable: But for common species that visit flowers here are some handy tips.
Often not as furry or fuzzy: Though many can have a furry thorax. 
Long antennae: Similar to bees, wasps have noticeable antennae.
Elegant bodies: Along with colourful bodies, wasps often have thin waists and long thin legs.
Four wings: Flying insects in the order Hymenoptera have evolved  four (two pairs) of wings.
Learn more about the differences between wasps and bees by watching this video by Joe Wilson, co-author of The Bees in Your Backyard

Also, check out this hand out created by Border Free Bees for a side by side anatomical comparison of different types of pollinators. 

Art & Photography Contest!!

Do you like to draw, paint, or photograph bees?
Would you like to showcase your art on website AND have the chance to win a bumble bee domicile?
Then follow the link here to learn how to enter!
Whoa! Like so rad!
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