All of us are aware of bees, which are present in our immediate environment. In scientific terms, bees belong to the insect superfamily, Apodiea. This superfamily comprises of many families, subfamilies, tribes and an astounding 20,000 bee species. The bees belonging to each family exhibit common traits, such as the technique of building nests, social or solitary behavior, etc. On the contrary, different species of bees have different physical traits like wing shape or tongue length. For more, check out the information given below on various types of bees.
Various Types of Bees
Bumblebees are large in size with lots of hair. They are usually black and yellow in color. They reside in colonies and exhibit social behavior. In tropical regions, bumblebee colonies flourish for many years whereas in temperate regions they perish in cool climate. Only the young and fertilized queen bees survive in the winter due to hibernation. When the temperature rises, queen bees lay eggs to restart a new colony. Some varieties of stingless bumblebees are also found in tropical regions, where they live in deserted holes made by rodents and other small animals.
Honeybees are usually small in size and are extremely social in nature. They are generally black in color but some of them even have a brown-yellow center. A honeybee colony follows a hierarchy, wherein a queen bee is on the top as she lays eggs. It is followed by hundreds of drones, who are fertile male bees. In the last, it is thousands of undeveloped female bees known as worker bees. The workers collect nectar from flowers, make and store honey, protect the hive, feed and care for the queen and the baby honeybees.
Carpenter bees appear metal - like and black in color with no yellow marks. Their size is 2 to 2.5 inches. They are not social, remain solitary and cannot prepare wax. They are capable of traveling long distances transcending from one flower to another. Carpenter bees make their nests in flower stalks or wood. They are called as carpenter bees as they can make tunnels in solid wood. During the process, they leave behind a pile of sawdust near the nest entrance.
Ground bees are also known as ‘mining bees’ as they dig tunnels in the ground. The ground bee is small in size and black in color. The tunnels are made to provide shelter to their offspring. For this, they choose well-shaded areas with loose soil and less vegetation. The tunnels contain chambers in the end, made by female bees. These chambers are used to store food for the baby bees. Though they are not aggressive, they can sting. These bees live in separate but close-by nests.
Parasitic bees are also known as ‘cuckoo’ bees. As the name suggest, these bees do not search for food or build nests on their own. They can even be classified into "cleptoparasitic bees" and "social parasites" as they use the nests and food of other bees. The female parasitic bees do not even have pollen brushes or pollen baskets to gather nectar.
Africanized honeybees are found in entire Africa, south of the Sahara desert. It is believed that African bees mated with European honeybees and their offspring were called as "Africanized honeybees". Africanized Honeybees are very similar to European honeybees, but they are more aggressive to defend their nests. In effect, they are popularly known as ‘killer bees’. They are even found in Brazil, South and North America. Living in the vicinity of these bees can be very dangerous. These bees produce honey and pollinate plants just like the honey bees.
Orchid bees are bright in color and metallic in appearance. It is believed that orchids and orchid bees evolved together and hence they are dependent on each other. Amongst Orchid bees, the males are engaged in other vital productive activities rather than just mating. Male orchid bees collect fragrant oils from blossoms with the help of their scraper-like segments of the legs. These oils are generally utilized to attract mates.