Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Celebrating National Honey Bee Day (August 18th) [from Issue 2012-9]

Bee to Bee facts

Picture this - you have a wonderful barbeque set up in your backyard. You've picked out the table cloths, invited all your friends and family, made sure there is enough food, and made homemade lemonade. Ahhh, there is nothing like a Labor Day Barbeque with family and friends! Everyone is having a great time, until you start swatting at some uninvited guests ... BEES! Do you know that not every bee is the same? Most of the time we lump all bees into one stinging, unwanted category; but have you ever stopped to look at what type of bee is buzzing by your lunch? The fact is, there are many different species of bees, and some of them want nothing to do with you, except to avoid you as they're bringing back something delicious to the hive. Since there are over 25,000 different types of bees, here are some identifiers of the most common types of bees, flying around your neighborhood.

Honeybee

Honeybees live in large "families" and are found all over the world.
One of the most familiar insects in the world is the Honeybee, playing a key role, as pollinator, in the preservation of the human and natural world. Honeybees live in large "families" in elaborate nests, or hives, where they work together in a structured social order, and can be found all over the world. Honeybees do sting, but they only sting once. The sting can be extremely painful if the stinger is not immediately removed from the skin. Persons allergic to insect stings will have a more severe reaction.
  • Size: 1/2"
  • Shape: Oval, bee shaped
  • Color: Golden yellow with brown bands
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Diet: Honeybees produce honey from pollen and nectar of the plants they pollinate. They store the honey in honeycombs in their nests, which they use to feed their young in colder months.
  • Nest: Honeybee nests vary in size. They typically build their nests in tree crevices, but will occasionally build nests in attics or chimneys.

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter bees are solitary bees. They build nests just for themselves and only feed their own young. They get their name from their ability to drill through wood. Carpenter bee stingers are not barbed, so they are able to sting over and over again. Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can do cosmetic damage to the wood where they build their nests. Carpenter bees are beneficial because they pollinate plants that are ignored by Honeybees.
  • Size: 1"
  • Shape: Oval, bee shaped
  • Color: Blue-black
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes
  • Diet: Worker bees gather both pollen and nectar from flowers to feed to the larvae and other members of the colony.
  • Nest: Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop. Female carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside the nest are called "frass". The tunnel openings usually look about one or two inches deep, but they can be up to 10 feet long! These tunnels usually have several rooms where the bees hold their eggs and food.

Bumblebee

Bumblebees are considered to be beneficial insects because they pollinate crops and plants. They are very social bees and live in large "families".
Unlike honeybees, bumblebees can sting more than once because their stingers are smooth and do not get caught in the skin when they fly away. As part of the aggressive defense of their nests, bumblebees will chase nest invaders for long distances. The bumblebee sting is one of the most painful stings. Swelling and irritation can last for days after you are actually stung.
  • Size: 1"
  • Shape: Oval, bee shaped
  • Color: Black with yellow stripes
  • Legs: 6
  • Wings: Yes
  • Antenna: Yes

Yellow Jackets

They are named yellow jackets because of their distinctive yellow and black stripes. They nest in a football or teardrop shaped nest constructed by a grayish paper substance, which is actually created by the bees themselves by chewing little pieces of wood.



  • Size: 1/2"
  • Color: Alternating bands on the abdomen

Sweat Bees

Attracted to the salt in human sweat, which can make them a nuisance, as they will sting if squeezed or squashed against one's flesh. Nests that are built in rotting wood usually resemble ground nests.




  • Size: 1/4" to 1/2"
  • Color: Black, Brown, Red, or Metallic Green, and sometimes with yellow markings

So next time you are out in the yard take an extra second to try and identify which type of bee you're hanging out with and impress your friends and family at your next fall barbeque.

Information gathered from: http://www.pestworldforkids.org/bees.html; http://www.thebeehunter.com/types-of-bees.html; http://www.wikipedia.org/


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2 comments:

  1. This article have a waste collection of bees details. Thank you for updating these details. These bees can harm others. The removal of bees from the compound is really an important thing. The restore of bees comb to some other location is the best way to avoid the accidents.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bees are sooo important to us as humans and we just don't realize it! Honey is also good for the skin or so I am told! I am looking into how to tighten my skin right now actually. Wondering if the mineral bath is worth the money.

    ReplyDelete