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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: Mining Bee ? 1 week ago by John John
Re: ID please - what type of bee is this?  Is it safe in our garden with young children? 2 weeks ago by lucy lucy
Bee for ID 2 weeks ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
ID Please, bumble bee 1 month ago by RMFelix RMFelix
Re: Bumblebee nest 1 month ago by flecc flecc
Re: Solitary Bee for ID please. 1 month ago by TORCROSS TORCROSS
Re: Solitary bees identification 1 month ago by flecc flecc
Re: Scary Black Bee (Cyprus) 5 months ago by MikeHardman MikeHardman
Re: Bumble Bee species 7 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Bee for ID 7 months ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
Re: Miner Bee? 8 months ago by meddyliol meddyliol
Re: Is it a bee? 9 months ago by jaguarondi jaguarondi
Re: Pollen Baskets 9 months ago by flecc flecc
Re: Beetle for ID 9 months ago by Buttonmoon Buttonmoon
Re: Bee for ID 9 months ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
Bee for ID 9 months ago by Hairstreak Hairstreak
Re: Solitary Bee ID Please. 10 months ago by nomad nomad
Identification please, bee or wasp 10 months ago by Tricky Tricky
bee identification, please 11 months ago by Tess Tess
Re: Please help me to help the bee!! Urgent Please 11 months ago by Buttonmoon Buttonmoon
Re: All black bumble bee 11 months ago by triops triops
Re: Wasp ID please. 11 months ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bee ID please. 12 months ago by nomad nomad
Re: ID this Bee species please. 1 year ago by nomad nomad
Re: Bombylius major the bumble bee fly! 1 year ago by Steve Jelf Steve Jelf
Re: Bee identification 1 year ago by flecc flecc
Re: Bumble bees from Big Sky USA 1 year ago by iggy iggy
Re: Tiny wasp / bee from Big Sky Nevada 1 year ago by iggy iggy
identification please 1 year ago by barnsey barnsey
Re: what are these doing? 1 year ago by mack mack

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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