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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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Re: Bumble Bee species 4 hours ago by billnbrooks billnbrooks
Bee for ID 3 weeks ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
Re: Miner Bee? 4 weeks ago by meddyliol meddyliol
Re: Is it a bee? 2 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Re: Pollen Baskets 2 months ago by flecc flecc
Re: Beetle for ID 2 months ago by Buttonmoon Buttonmoon
Re: Bee for ID 2 months ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
Bee for ID 2 months ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
Re: Solitary Bee ID Please. 3 months ago by nomad nomad
Identification please, bee or wasp 3 months ago by Tricky Tricky
bee identification, please 4 months ago by Tess Tess
Re: Please help me to help the bee!! Urgent Please 4 months ago by Buttonmoon Buttonmoon
Re: All black bumble bee 4 months ago by triops triops
Re: Wasp ID please. 4 months ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bee ID please. 5 months ago by nomad nomad
Re: ID this Bee species please. 5 months ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bombylius major the bumble bee fly! 5 months ago by Steve Jelf Steve Jelf
Re: Bee identification 5 months ago by flecc flecc
Re: Bumble bees from Big Sky USA 9 months ago by iggy iggy
Re: Tiny wasp / bee from Big Sky Nevada 9 months ago by iggy iggy
identification please 1 year ago by barnsey barnsey
Re: what are these doing? 1 year ago by mack mack
Re: Unidentified Bee/Wasp 1 year ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: Carder Bee? 1 year ago by john_l_uk john_l_uk
Re: Is this a buff tailed bumblebee? Is it a queen? 1 year ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: Type of Hornet? 1 year ago by john auchengool john auchengool
Re: Bumble Bee indentification 1 year ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: What kind of Bumble bee is this one? 1 year ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Bee id please 1 year ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Bee id please. 1 year ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile

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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