Bee Identification Chart

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Honey Bees

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Identification
Size
: ½” to ¾” inches.
Type
: Social Bee
Population
: Up to 5,000 - 50,000 members per nest.
Region
: World wide.

Honeybees live year round but are more dormant in winter. Honeybees can be observed and identified as a giant swarm migrating, or as 5 to 20 bees buzzing around a wall, eave, chimney, or other structural opening. In hot or dry seasons, honeybees may show up for water. A new honeybee swarm may consist of 4,000 to 9,000 bees, while an established hive generally has 10,000 to 50,000 bees and 40 to 100 lbs. of honey (9 to 45kg). Respectively, there is no such thing as a small beehive!

Unlike wasps, bees loose their stingers; if a person or animal is stung by a bee the ridged /barbed stinger of the bee often gets stuck in the skin, dislodging from the bee and causing the bee to die shortly after. The average life span of a single honeybee is about 1 month living longer in the winter. Honeybees may become a problem when nesting in structures. If you have an un-welcome beehive on your property call for help or visit how to get rid of bees to learn more.

For may centuries honey from honeybees was considered by the ancients to have healing powers and medicinal virtures; only more recently did science prove this. Honey can be kept indefinatley without spoiling. About 1/3 of our food supply comes from pollination, the majority from honeybees. Bees are the only insect that make food people eat.


Africanized Honeybees (AHB)

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More Bee Pictures

Identification
Size
: ½” inch.
Type
: Social Bee
Population
: Up to 5,000 - 15,000 members per nest.
Region
: Most popular in West, Central, and South east regions of the US and in Mexico.

Africanized honeybees (AHB) look the same as the european honeybee. Though un-noticeably smaller in size, the AHB are very protective of their home and can attack to defend it in great numbers, they may stay aggressive for days after being disturbed. Like european honeybees, africanized honeybees are become aggravated by loud noises, vibrations, target dark clothing, and are provoked by certain smells such as fresh cut grass, bananas, and the breath of mammals.

Africanized honeybees also called Hybrid honeybees, have become the main source of beekeeping in Mexico and South America. The AHB performs better in tropical enviroments than the european honeybee. AHB has difficulty in cooler climates because they keep a smaller number of bees per hive. The AHB is less suseptable to some desises that effect the european honeybee.

Africanized bees are primarily found in California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. If you have an aggressive beehive around or near a structure, getting rid of bees can be very difficult. For a in-depth read on the AHB and identification visit africanized honey bee covering were they came from, were they have spread, the differences, how they are interacted with, and their current status.


Bumble Bees

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Identification
Size
: 1” to 1½” inches.
Type
: Social Bee
Population
: From 10 - 100 members per nest.
Region
: Throughout the US & Canada.

Bumblebees are found living in nests in number of 15 to 50 bees. Nests are smaller in spring and larger in the fall. They are perhaps twice the size of a honeybee. In the mid & upper regions of the US and through Canada you are likely to see brighter more colorful bumblebees than in the lower portion of the US. Bumblebees may be identified in cavities in the ground such as an abandoned gopher hole, under sheds, or in other low to the ground places. Bumble bees are seasonal bees, after summer only the queens overwinter to survive, starting a new colony in the spring. They can be known to defend their hive very aggressively and may sting multiple times and don't lose their stinger. It is said that (like many types of bees) the bumblebee species has been declining.


Carpenter Bees

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Identification
Size
: 1” to 1½” inches.
Type
: Solitary Bee
Region
: Throughout the US & Canada.

Male carpenter bees are solid black and they cannot sting. The females are tan in color and sting quite well. The Identification of carpenter bees are sometimes mistaken as bumblebees however carpenter bees are shiny, with fewer colors, and less fuzzy or less hair. Like the bumblebee, Carpenter bees average one inch in length. Their flight is faster than a bumblebee, and is also a bit more jerky or zig zag, similar to a hummingbird. Carpenter bees are solitary bees, they burrow holes the size of a dime or penny into wood patio covers, eaves, and other places of wood.


Stingless Bees

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Identification
Size
: 1mm to 12mm
Type
: Social Bee
Population
: From 200 - 10,000 members per nest.
Region
: Tropical Regions around the World & a small very portion of the US.

Less common in America, stingless bees are natively found in tropical regions around the world. There are many thousands of stingless species. The stingless bee identified as not having a stinger and defends by biting. Stingless bees are less agressive than honeybees. They keep smaller hives than honeybees from a few hundred bees up to thousands. Stingless bees are typically much smaller than a honeybee ranging in size from 1mm to 12mm (as large as 1/2 inch). Stingless bees nest in tree trunks, branches, ground cavities, and are occasionally found around housing structure.

Stingless bee species have for centuries been used as methodes for pollination of kind. Stingless honeybees as pollinators are claimed to be a lesser a problem pest to home owners than honeybees, though they are outperformed by the honeybee both as pollinators and as honey producers. In South America, the more newly integrated Africanized hybrid honeybee is said to have caused a slight though non-critical decline to the stingless bees of the region.



Wasp Box

Wasp Identification Chart

There are many kinds of wasp species. Visit our wasp identification guide to learn basic information on the most common types of wasps.

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