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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: Bee ID please. 2 days ago by flecc flecc
Re: ID this Bee species please. 2 days ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bombylius major the bumble bee fly! 6 days ago by Steve Jelf Steve Jelf
Re: Bee identification 1 week ago by flecc flecc
Re: Bumble bees from Big Sky USA 4 months ago by iggy iggy
Re: Tiny wasp / bee from Big Sky Nevada 4 months ago by iggy iggy
identification please 8 months ago by barnsey barnsey
Re: what are these doing? 8 months ago by mack mack
Re: Unidentified Bee/Wasp 9 months ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: Carder Bee? 9 months ago by john_l_uk john_l_uk
Re: Is this a buff tailed bumblebee? Is it a queen? 9 months ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: Type of Hornet? 9 months ago by john auchengool john auchengool
Re: Bumble Bee indentification 9 months ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: What kind of Bumble bee is this one? 9 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Bee id please 9 months ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Bee id please. 9 months ago by Arachnophile Arachnophile
Re: What bee is this? 10 months ago by Alex Willcox Alex Willcox
Re: What kind of bee is this? 10 months ago by mack mack
Re: Small bee or hover fly? 10 months ago by AmandaB AmandaB
Re: Bee secreting fluid? 10 months ago by Steve Jelf Steve Jelf
Re: Tawny Miner Bee with Aphid in its Mandibles - Extracting Nectar? 11 months ago by brian1208 brian1208
Re: Bee Identification No1 12 months ago by anthonyjackson5 anthonyjackson5
Who has just left home in the streets of London? 1 year ago by Oscar Oscar
Apis cerana subspecies i.d please 1 year ago by S.Mawii S.Mawii
Solitary bee (?) Id please if possible 1 year ago by GrahamPD GrahamPD
Bee identification 1 year ago by BobH BobH
Re: Is this a bee? If yes what type and how do I get rid of them. 1 year 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

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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