According to the EOL website, "Observer cards are designed to foster the art and science of observing nature. Sets are [sic] cards are organized around Families of plants, animals, and fungi. Each set provides information about key traits and techniques necessary to make accurate and useful scientific observations. The tool is not designed to identify species, but rather to encourage detailed observations. Of course, identification can be possible with careful observations but the focus here is on the process of observing."
The observer cards are brief and informative. The cards describe characteristics and behaviors that can be used to help you identify and better understand bees. I found out that the bees that collect pollen in my garden every spring and cluster on stems of plants at night are male solitary bees. I have referred to them as homeless bees and it turns out that that is an accurate description.
This is a photo of the male solitary bees that gather on plants in my garden in the evenings. Once they gather, they kick off all of the pollen that they collected on their legs. According to the cards, male solitary bees do not have a nest to return to at night, as the females do, so they aggregate as a defensive strategy and often return to the same location each night.
If you would like to know more about these important and, often, misunderstood pollinators, you can open the Bee Observer Cards below. Click the Encyclopedia of Life link above and you can view Ant Observer Cards as well. Be sure to check the Texas Bee Watchers site for information about bees, plants, bee gardens and more.