Learn a little bit about the different species of bees!
There are many different Species of Bees
You don’t have to be a professional beekeeper to know that bees are important members of the world’s ecosystem. When European settlers arrived in North America over 400 years ago, they marveled at the region’s abundant natural resources and imported certain bee types to help to pollinate plants in the New World. Descendants of those imported insects and native pollinators now work together to support the healthy growth of food crops, wildflowers, and other ornamental plants. There are thousands of bee species, and many of them belong to five families. Here are some common bee species by family.
#1 Apidae: Prolific Pollinators
The Apidae bee family hosts some of the most frequently spotted bees in North America that include the honey bee, the bumble bee, and the carpenter bee. A honey bee is known to travel many miles to stock up on quality nectar and pollen from flowering plants. They pollinate farms that grow food crops such as apples, almonds, and blueberries. The African honey bee is also a member of the Apidae family. It was introduced to North America from Africa and is known as the killer bee because of its marked aggression while defending its nest.
#2 Colletidae: Construction Experts
It takes several months for a construction crew to build a house that will withstand weather elements. The plasterer bee belongs to the Colletidae bee family, and it’s known to build nests in the ground that are both fungus and water resistant. The small plasterer bee is found in Florida, and it collects pollen and nectar from regional plants such as camphorweed, yaupon holly, and eastern redbud.
#3 Megachilidae: The Bee With Body Odor
The Megachilidae bee family is most commonly represented by the mason bee, the leafcutter bee, and the resin bee. Some of these bee types give off unique scents that they use to mark the entrances to their nests. The mason bee isn’t aggressive, and commercial farmers use it for crop pollination of cherry trees and blueberry bushes.
#4 Andrenidae: Ground Nesters
The mining bee is the main member of the Andrenidae bee family. These insects build their nests under the soil of unkempt hillsides or manicured lawns. They aren’t easily provoked to sting, and they do a great job of pollinating vegetable gardens. Some members of the Adrenidae bee family are nocturnal and look for food at sundown.
#5 Halictidae: Don’t Sweat It
If you’re afraid of bees, you’re not alone. Many people suffer from apiphobia, which is the scientific name for bee fear. Breaking out into a nervous sweat is the last thing that you want to do if you meet members of the Halictidae bee family. Human sweat attracts these insects, and they’ll sting if you disturb their colony.
In recent years, the region’s bee population has continued to dwindle. A bee colony can collapse because of heavy pesticide use on crops, diseases, and parasites. By planting flowers and practicing organic gardening methods, you create an inviting environment for many bee types.