Know Your Bees:

Know Your Bees:

bees

True Bees
There are many types of bees and thousands of species. Below are three common groups. Note the long antennae and fuzzy body. While difficult to see, all bees also have two pairs of wings.

Honey Bee
• Lives in large colony hives
• Not aggressive
• Barbed stinger – stays in the victim, killing the bee

Carpenter Bee
• Solitary, burrows into wood
• Not aggressive
• Smooth stinger – capable of stinging multiple times

Bumble Bee
• Nests underground or in confined spaces like attics
• Somewhat aggressive
• Smooth stinger – capable of stinging multiple times

About Africanized “Killer” bees: Africanized bees are hybrids of African and European honey bees, meant to combine the high honey production of European bees with the quick colony growth and heat tolerance of African bees. As a hybrid of two honey bees, they are often visually indistinguishable from normal honey bees. However they are more aggressive and are prone to swarming, leaving the victim with many stings. Regardless, they are pollinators and honey producers like other honey bees. Studies suggest they may be resistant to the colony collapse facing other bees.

Wasps & Mimics
Bees, wasps, and hoverflies are often confused. While there are thousands of
wasp and hoverfly species, they are most easily distinguished from bees by the wasp’s tapered midsection and the hoverfly’s fly eyes.

Wasp
• Lives in large colony hives
• Aggressive
• Smooth stinger – capable of stinging multiple times
• Two pairs of wings like a bee
• Body is nearly hairless andhas a distinct taper
• Not a major pollinator, but eats other insect pests

Syrphid Fly/Hoverfly
• Varied habitats
• No stinger
• As the name implies, often
hovers in flight
• Only one pair of wings
• Major predator of aphids
• Some species are pollinators

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