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Re: my question "What species is this gray bee?", I'd really like to know more about what I saw.

I've seen a number of posts, and did my best to give useful information, but I'm new to entomology, so maybe I'm not giving the right details?

  • I'm aware the photo is poor, and a better one could help a lot identify the bee, but unless I get a better camera, I don't think I can take a better picture.
  • Was the title too specific? Normally identification answers give the genus rather than the species. I'd be happy to know that, e.g. it is not an albino Apis melifera or even that it got someone puzzled.
  • Or is it that the question is just not interesting, or there is no one that can answer it?
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The question is upvoted and perfectly ontopic here. In general, species ID questions are received well in this community. The information is sufficient and the only thing that will prevent it from being answered is the poor image quality and the image is the most important information I'm afraid.

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  • $\begingroup$ Two questions: 1. Should I try to capture one? 2. Should I ask something more broad, like 'are the any reported albino honey bees' or 'what species of bees this color could be in this range?' $\endgroup$ – Rafael Dec 16 '18 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Rafael I wouldn't capture an insect solely for ID purposes. And of course you can add an alternative more broader question if you think it will not be answered. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Dec 16 '18 at 18:54
  • $\begingroup$ Thank! I appreciate your help $\endgroup$ – Rafael Dec 16 '18 at 20:17
  • $\begingroup$ @Rafael I'd add that you almost certainly need a better quality camera to capture pictures of live, highly mobile insects that are sufficient for identification except in special cases of very distinct examples. If you see a species regularly and you are very interested in it it may be worth finding someone who owns such a camera and appropriate lens if you don't have one yourself. Best of luck! $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 19 '18 at 19:54
  • $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause ty again. Is bee collection discouraged do to the well-known threats they are currently facing? I think I want to become an amateur entomologist and start a collection $\endgroup$ – Rafael Dec 19 '18 at 19:59
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    $\begingroup$ @Rafael Collecting specimens for entomology is common and I think the general guidance is fairly common sense: to obtain only the fewest samples necessary and to avoid collecting samples that could cause danger to a local population. There could be legal restrictions in some jurisdictions for collection, though, and I have no idea what the danger could be to the particular bees you have around; overall, I'd suggest if you're interested in amateur entomology that you try to connect with others with similar interests as amateurs or academics and get some guidance from them. $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 19 '18 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ My personal opinion about using animals in any sort of research, including collecting wild specimens, is to consider the benefits against the costs. If the only benefit is for your personal collection and appreciation, then the costs would have to be effectively zero to justify it. If, on the other hand, that collection can inform others about the species diversity in a given area for example, that scientific knowledge is worth a bit of extra risk and harm to the individual creatures involved. Hope that helps! $\endgroup$ – Bryan Krause Dec 19 '18 at 20:51

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