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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: Does anyone know what kind of bee this is please? 3 hours ago by ChrisE ChrisE
Re: will these sting? 1 week ago by MikeHardman MikeHardman
"MUD MUD GLORIOUS MUD" 1 week ago by Microbe Microbe
Re: Is this a Shtill Carder Bee? 2 weeks ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: Bee identification help 2 weeks ago by Andy_Notts Andy_Notts
Digging in or out 2 weeks ago by John John
Re: Are these Bombus ruderatus var Harrisellus? 2 weeks ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Re: Could these bees be Osmia argentula? 2 weeks ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
Arabian mountain bee 1 month ago by IanF IanF
Re: Scary Black Bee (Cyprus) 3 months ago by MikeHardman MikeHardman
Re: Mysterious Door Bee 5 months ago by MikeHardman MikeHardman
Re: Dasypoda altercator ♀? 5 months ago by Marcello Consolo Marcello Consolo
Re: Interesting black & grey bee for ID? 6 months ago by Higgy Higgy
Black bee for ID this time please? 6 months ago by Higgy Higgy
Can someone please identify this ... bee? 7 months ago by Bissgets Bissgets
Re: What would this little UK bee be 7 months ago by Distinctly Average Distinctly Average
Re: 2 Bumblebees 7 months ago by YARN YARN
Re: Large black bee 7 months ago by MikeHardman MikeHardman
Re: Soil nesting solitary bees - inhabiting vegetable plot 8 months ago by Annette Annette
Re: Bee Parasite 8 months ago by Florin - Museum ID team Florin - Museum ID team
(Purple) Bee? 8 months ago by au13j au13j
Can anyone ID this bee please... in my Kent garden 9 months ago by Fatbirder Fatbirder
Bee? for id 9 months ago by Ash Ash
Re: Can anybody identify these bees? 9 months ago by winnits winnits
Re: Bee, Wasp or Hornet? 9 months ago by KRK KRK
Re: Could this possibly be B. ruderatus? 10 months ago by Juules Juules
Re: Red Mortar Bees 10 months ago by Lynn Lynn
Bumblebee spotting at Dungeness 10 months ago by Dimfoss Dimfoss
Re: Are these tree bees??? 10 months ago by ameliab ameliab
Re: Unidentified (by me) bee in East London 10 months ago by HackneyBees HackneyBees

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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