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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: What bee is this? 1 day ago by Alex Willcox Alex Willcox
Bumble Bee indentification 3 days ago by kestrel76 kestrel76
Re: what are these doing? 6 days ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: What kind of bee is this? 1 week ago by mack mack
Re: Small bee or hover fly? 3 weeks ago by AmandaB AmandaB
Re: Bee secreting fluid? 4 weeks ago by Steve Jelf Steve Jelf
Re: Tawny Miner Bee with Aphid in its Mandibles - Extracting Nectar? 1 month ago by brian1208 brian1208
Re: Bee Identification No1 2 months ago by anthonyjackson5 anthonyjackson5
Is this a buff tailed bumblebee? Is it a queen? 2 months ago by Sarah Sarah
Who has just left home in the streets of London? 2 months ago by Oscar Oscar
Apis cerana subspecies i.d please 2 months ago by S.Mawii S.Mawii
Solitary bee (?) Id please if possible 3 months ago by GrahamPD GrahamPD
Bee identification 8 months ago by BobH BobH
Re: Is this a bee? If yes what type and how do I get rid of them. 9 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Re: Is this just a bee ? 10 months ago by Clive Washington Clive Washington
Re: What sort of insect is this? 10 months ago by John John
Old Bee 11 months ago by John John
Re: Bee identification 11 months ago by Jonathan - NaturePlus host Jonathan - NaturePlus host
Re: What type of bee is this? 11 months ago by ChrisE ChrisE
Re: Black Bee with a few white hairs Identification 11 months ago by ChrisLR ChrisLR
Re: Bumblebee ID, London 1 year ago by DMcKenzie DMcKenzie
Re: Large Bee (?) ID help required 1 year ago by emg emg
Re: A Bee ~ seen in the RHS Gardens at Wisley ….. 1 year ago by Mike Robinson Mike Robinson
I have some of these Bee's in my loft, could you help me identify please 1 year ago by prongstar prongstar
Re: Is this a bee or something else please? 1 year ago by JoDee JoDee
Solitary Bee for ID please. 1 year ago by TORCROSS TORCROSS
ID this small Bee Please 1 year ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bees in loft - please identify and advise. 1 year ago by marcofoo marcofoo
Wild bee house design. 1 year ago by Fingerpuk Fingerpuk
Re: Can someone please identify this ... 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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