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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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identification please 5 days ago by barnsey barnsey
Re: what are these doing? 3 weeks ago by mack mack
Re: Unidentified Bee/Wasp 1 month ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: Carder Bee? 1 month ago by john_l_uk john_l_uk
Re: Is this a buff tailed bumblebee? Is it a queen? 1 month ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: Type of Hornet? 1 month ago by john auchengool john auchengool
Re: Bumble Bee indentification 1 month ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: What kind of Bumble bee is this one? 1 month ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Bee id please 1 month ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Bee id please. 1 month ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: What bee is this? 1 month ago by Alex Willcox Alex Willcox
Re: What kind of bee is this? 2 months ago by mack mack
Re: Small bee or hover fly? 2 months ago by AmandaB AmandaB
Re: Bee secreting fluid? 2 months ago by Steve Jelf Steve Jelf
Re: Tawny Miner Bee with Aphid in its Mandibles - Extracting Nectar? 3 months ago by brian1208 brian1208
Re: Bee Identification No1 3 months ago by anthonyjackson5 anthonyjackson5
Who has just left home in the streets of London? 4 months ago by Oscar Oscar
Apis cerana subspecies i.d please 4 months ago by S.Mawii S.Mawii
Solitary bee (?) Id please if possible 5 months ago by GrahamPD GrahamPD
Bee identification 10 months ago by BobH BobH
Re: Is this a bee? If yes what type and how do I get rid of them. 11 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Re: Is this just a bee ? 1 year ago by Clive Washington Clive Washington
Re: What sort of insect is this? 1 year ago by John John
Old Bee 1 year ago by John John
Re: Bee identification 1 year ago by Jonathan - NaturePlus host Jonathan - NaturePlus host
Re: What type of bee is this? 1 year ago by ChrisE ChrisE
Re: Black Bee with a few white hairs Identification 1 year 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

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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