Bee Id Chart

Bee id chart - species, region, size and habitat.

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Bees

Nearly 1/3 of world food supplies is contribute to from bee pollination.  Honeybees are the only insect that make food people commonly eat.
Here below are the common types of bee species, their size, population, and world region. You are welcome to improve this page by adding feedback.


Honeybee

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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 or quite during winter. When not in a bee box, honeybees are commonly observed on flowers. Less commonly honeybees can be seen as a giant swarm migrating to a new home or having landed to rest on a tree or shrub. From houses & buildings, honeybees may occasionally be observed as a handful of bees buzzing around a wall, eave, house chimney, or other structural opening. Honeybees may become a problem when nesting in structures. In hot or dry seasons, honeybees may show at water sources.

A new honeybee swarm may consist of 4,000 to 9,000 bees, while an established beehive generally has 10,000 to 50,000 bees with 40 to 100 lbs. of honey (9 to 45kg). Respectively, there is no such thing as a small beehive! Unlike wasps & other stinging insects, bees can 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 around 3 or 4 months, living slightly longer during winter.

For may centuries honey was considered by the ancients to have healing powers and medicinal virtues; only more recently did science prove this. Honey can be kept indefinitely without spoiling.


Africanized Honeybee

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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
: Africa, South America, Central America, Mexico & the Lower US.

Within the past decades beekeepers & scientists have been cross breading european & african honeybees in efforts to improve the productivity of the honeybee relating to crops & human interaction. This honey bee is commonly called Africanized Honeybee (AHB) or hybrid bee; identification is similar to their european honeybee neighbor. The AHB is a stronger bee to tropical environments. The AHB is less prone to diseases that currently effect european honeybees.

AHBs are more protective of their home and can attack to defend it in great numbers; they stay aggressive longer once disturbed. As with all honeybees: AHBs are aggravated by loud noises, vibrations, while attacking they are more aggressive toward dark clothing, and provoked by certain smells such as fresh cut grass, bananas, and the breath of people and animals.

Africanized honeybees have naturally intermingled with european honeybees throughout the americas not including the cooler climate regions. These bees have become the main source of beekeeping throughout Mexico and tropical Central and South America with improved honey production. Central and south America experience less problems with bees nesting within structures because the houses are typically made of concrete without wall voids & attic voids.

AHBs are identified as slightly smaller in size, more agile, and keep a smaller hive population. As such AHBs experience difficulty in cooler climates due to needing to keep larger quantity of bees to stay warm though a long winter. Additionally needing to store more honey to survive the longer winter.

Within the US, Africanized /hybrid bees have been popularly identified in Southern & Central California, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, and Florida. Removing a beehive within a structure can be very difficult. See getting rid of bees.

For a more in-depth read of the africanized honey bee throughout the Americas, visit africanized honey bees learn were they came from, were they have migrated, 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 commonly identified living in nests in number of 15 to 50 bees. Nests are smaller in spring and larger during fall/autumn season. They are near 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 build their homes in cavities of the ground such as an abandoned gopher hole, under a shed, or in other low to the ground places. Bumble bees are seasonal bees, after summer only the queens overwinter to survive the next year, starting a new colony in the spring.

Like honeybees, bumblebees visit flowers to gather nectar and pollen, they are non-aggressive while traveling and foraging. They can be known to defend their hive aggressively and can sting multiple times as they don't lose their stinger. Like honeybees, it is widely believed that bumblebee species have a difficult environment to survive in due to pollution & climate changes.


Carpenter Bees

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

Male carpenter bees are identified as solid black and cannot sting. Female carpenter bees are identified as brown in color and sting quite well. Carpenter bees are sometimes mistaken as bumblebees however carpenter bees are shiny, with fewer colors and less fuzzy, or with 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, there homes can be identified as they burrow holes into wood, the size of a dime or penny commonly into wood patio covers, eaves, and other structures.


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 species. The stingless bee is identified as not having a stinger and defends by biting. Stingless bees are less aggressive than honeybees. They keep smaller hives than honeybees from a few hundred bees to thousands. Stingless bees are much smaller than honeybees, 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 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. Stingless honeybees are also very effective pollinators to small nano-areas, were the honeybee in not yet arrived. 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

Some wasps look like bees!  Visit the wasp identification guide to learn basic information on the most common types of wasps. Many types of wasp species currently exist.

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