Big Bee: Hair Recognition & Quantification


About the Project

The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) is working with our capstone team to continue the research and understanding of bee ecology through image and trait digitalization. Bee species are decreasing in both number and diversity. As important pollinators, bees are responsible for creating and maintaining the ecosystems that many animals and humans rely on. Examining their physical traits and the differences between species will allow us to study the resiliency of different bees using computer vision and machine learning.

We worked with 550 high resolution lateral bee images that were gathered from various institutions for the Bee Library, an online repository of bee image, trait, and specimen data. Contributors included the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, University of Kansas Natural History Museum Entomology Division, and the UC Santa Barbara Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation: Extending Anthophila research through image and trait digitization (Big-Bee) project (DBI2102006).

  Student Team

  • Harper Klauke
  • Harleen Kaur
  • Jonathan Wong-Lau
  • Nick Alexander


  • Dr. Katja Seltmann, Sponsor
  • Joshua Bang, TA



The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) fulfills the UC Santa Barbara mission of research, education, and public service through stewardship and restoration of campus lands, preservation and management of natural history collections, and through learning experiences and programs that offer unique opportunities for students of all ages.