Become a Bee Spotter

The Zoo has teamed up with Bee Spotter to learn more about the bees in the greater Cincinnati area, and we need your help! Simply snap pictures of bees that you see and submit it with a date and location to An expert will identify the species and add it to the database.

bee spotter


How to Spot a Honey Bee

Honey Beehoneybee

About ½-inch long, honey bees have slender, slightly fuzzy abdomens that are pointed at the tip, and they have an obvious striping pattern.


Bumblebees are bigger, pudgier, furrier and have rounded tips to their abdomens, and they don’t have many stripes.


Wasps and hornets are similar in size and color, but they have smooth, narrow abdomens with no hair.


beePollen Nation is a very diverse group of zoo employees and friends passionate about our fuzzy friend, Apis mellifera (the European honey bee). Their group, Pollen Nation, was established in 2015 and has been very busy defining our goals and turning them into reality.

Mission Statement: Promoting pollinator awareness by re-wilding habitats and inspiring action while reconnecting the community to nature.

Pollen Nation: What’s the Buzz:
    • Learning the practice of beekeeping
    • Keeping honey bees here on grounds and at the Bowyer Farm
    • Placing a live outdoor honey bee hive exhibit on grounds
    • Getting our guests involved in the citizen science project collaboration with the University of Illinois, BeeSpotter (check out
    • CREW is doing a genealogy study on native plants and bee-plant selection at our Bowyer hives
    • Pollen Nation has semi-regular beekeeping meetings for continuing education and topic discussion
    • Reaching out beyond our guests by making a presence at various community events
Contact Pollen Nation here!