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About bees

Garden bee, Bombus hortorum

Bees are a group of insects that includes the honey bee, bumblebees, solitary bees, mining bees, masonry bees and cleptoparasitic bees.

Along with wasps and ants, bees form the group called Hymenoptera. The most familiar to us are the single species of honey bee and the many species of bumblebee which visit our gardens. These are all species that live socially, within the same nest. There is an even larger number of bee species that lead a solitary life and these are called solitary bees, mining bees or masonry bees.

Bees play a vital role pollinating flowering plants including fruits and vegetables. Only one species, the honey bee, Apis melifera, produces honey as we know and love it.

Number of UK species: about 260

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Bee Identification No1 2 days ago by Iknuman Iknuman
Small bee or hover fly? 1 week ago by Jeremy Jeremy
Is this a buff tailed bumblebee? Is it a queen? 1 week ago by Sarah Sarah
Who has just left home in the streets of London? 2 weeks ago by Oscar Oscar
Apis cerana subspecies i.d please 3 weeks ago by S.Mawii S.Mawii
Solitary bee (?) Id please if possible 1 month ago by GrahamPD GrahamPD
Bee identification 6 months ago by BobH BobH
Re: Is this a bee? If yes what type and how do I get rid of them. 7 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Re: Is this just a bee ? 8 months ago by Clive Washington Clive Washington
Re: What sort of insect is this? 8 months ago by John John
Old Bee 8 months ago by John John
Re: Bee identification 9 months ago by Jonathan - NaturePlus host Jonathan - NaturePlus host
Re: What type of bee is this? 9 months ago by ChrisE ChrisE
Re: Black Bee with a few white hairs Identification 9 months ago by ChrisLR ChrisLR
Re: Bumblebee ID, London 10 months ago by DMcKenzie DMcKenzie
Re: Large Bee (?) ID help required 10 months ago by emg emg
Re: A Bee ~ seen in the RHS Gardens at Wisley ….. 10 months ago by Mike Robinson Mike Robinson
I have some of these Bee's in my loft, could you help me identify please 11 months ago by prongstar prongstar
Re: Is this a bee or something else please? 11 months ago by JoDee JoDee
Solitary Bee for ID please. 11 months ago by TORCROSS TORCROSS
ID this small Bee Please 11 months ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bees in loft - please identify and advise. 11 months ago by marcofoo marcofoo
Wild bee house design. 12 months ago by Fingerpuk Fingerpuk
What kind of bee is this? 1 year ago by Don Don
Re: Can someone please identify this ... bee? 1 year ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: Does anyone know what kind of bee this is please? 1 year ago by JoDee JoDee
Bees for ID please?... 1 year ago by Higgy Higgy
Re: will these sting? 1 year ago by MikeHardman MikeHardman
"MUD MUD GLORIOUS MUD" 1 year ago by Microbe Microbe
Re: Is this a Shtill Carder Bee? 1 year ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team

Is it a bee?

Bombylius major, the bee fly

It has the face of a mosquito but the body of a bee, but this is no member of the Hymenoptera.

What are bee flies?

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