Honeybees (Apis mellifera)
Most people are familiar with honeybees as the colonies of these bees are found across the globe except for Antarctica. Naturally, Western Bees, Apis mellifera occurs in Middle East, Europe, and Africa, but most of the countries import it to pollinate the crop plants and honey production.
If you’ve been frequently touring gardens then you’ll easily recognize these bees from its golden brown and black abdominal stripes. And the one you see is the non-reproductive female workers. These bees fed a regular diet of nectar and pollen from the rich blooming flowers.
Normally, artificial hives are the home to these honeybees which is looked after professional and expert beekeepers. And even if you realize that there is no beekeeper in your neighborhood, you may still witness these bees as they flew miles away to find what they are in search of.
And the fact about honeybee is that there’s only one queen in each colony which makes rest of the bees a worker. Unlike other animals, honeybee can’t hurt you more than once. And that’s because when she sting, it's attached to their digestive tract and abdomen remains with the victim. But that literally brings a tear to your eyes.
Bumblebees (Genus: Bombus)
Talking about Bumblebees, most of you have seen these large furry bees, wrapped in a thick yellow and black hair in your lawn or backyard, but you exactly don’t know which bees they are.
And of course for a reason, because their size ranges from half an inch to full inch length and since it looks more like, carpenter bees, it’s definitely confusing.
But the best way to identify Bumblebees is that they are little smaller than Carpenter bees also their abdomen’s are hairy while carpenter bees don’t. Since the bumble bees are socially adjusted creatures, they live coordinated in large families.
Like honey bee, here too female workers collect the nectars and pollen from thriving flowers to feed themselves and the members of the colony. They use their adapted hind legs armed with corbicula to move the pollen from flowers to their offspring.
The name goes pretty well with these bees because they make a noise while getting into the flower. They make the sound while moving here and there around and inside the flower.
Unlike companion honeybees, bumblebees can sting the victims and survive to tell the scene. They lack barbs in their sting, so she can recover it back again from the flesh of the victim. So don’t mess with bumble bees unless you don’t wanna die out of pain.
Carpenter Bees (Genus Xylocopa)
This one comes with a bad reputation globally. That’s because they have disquieting aggressiveness, but despite their bad manners, these bees are brilliant pollinators and less dangerous than the rest of the bees.
And had it been a little bit bigger, you could’ve used it instead of drill machines because they have an excellent woodworking talent. They excavate their home in porches, eaves and wood decks so if you find a wood dust on your floor then that’s a big indication that you have a guest in your home. So keep checking after the house because if you don’t they might destroy your furniture.
Since the male bees don’t have a sting, you can certainly ignore their buzzing sound and violent fights. But don’t deal with the females ones cause they do have a sting and when they pick up the victims, it seriously hurts.
Mason Bees (Genus: Osmia)
Like every other mason workers, tiny mason bees too, work hard to build their nests with mud and pebbles that they use to close the nest holes. They are tiny fast-flying bees with blue or black metallic colors in their body and they have the dexterity to fly like a tiny jet.
Despite being able to perform an admirable job, they don’t like to dig holes on their own rather they look for a readily available hole made out by drilling where that they can build their nest. So when cautious gardeners pre-drilled holes, these bees come and start to live there.
Unlike other bees, mason bees lack pollen baskets on their leg, that’s why they carry it in their hair under their abdomen. Having said that, they are a terrific pollinator, more successful than honey bees. They are commercially proliferated in several parts of the world to develop pollination in fruits especially apples and blueberries and of course almonds too.
Squash bees (Genera: Peponapis and Xenoglossa)
Well if you have a pumpkin squash or gourd in your backyard then it’s best to get Squash bees because they are great pollinators for these vegetables. Like blueberry bees, they too have evolved to become an expert in pollinating the gourd family which includes squash, zucchini, and pumpkin.
They are among the rare bees in the world that are specialized to fly before dawn and that’s because their enlarged ocelli allow then to fly while it’s still dark. And don’t get confused with the bee that’s darting between the squash flowers, usually male squash bee nest in the flowers while the females go to the ground close to food.
But it’s not only squash bees who pollinate in squash flowers, even bumblebees do the job, however, they tend to stay in the flower for longer while the female squash bees leave soon after the job is done. Squash bees are normally brown in color with the sparse bands of brown hair on the abdomens.
Sweat bees (Various genera)
Typically small in size, Sweat bees appear to be black or metallic colored with some green or brassy yellow. Some even tend to have stripes on their abdomen. Like honeybees, they too are found across the globe except for Australia.
You can tell from the name that they are sweet and they don’t sting until you provoke them. Also, they are fascinated by human’s perspiration because their short tongue is excellent in taking human sweat.Since their size is small they look for small flowers, the one like Southeast’s fall-blooming flowers and whenever they go for pollens, they fly in hundreds of numbers.
Despite it, you may struggle to see it as their presence is almost non-existent because of their tiny little size. They resemble the bumblebees in the sense that they too make their cell in the ground by burrowing holes in the soil. However, some solitary sweat bees live in an individual nest far away from the members and the colony.
Hoverflies (Order Diptera, family Syrphidae)
Hoverflies also known as flower flies are a mesmerizing group of flies who appear to be crucial for pollinating flowers and plants. There are 6000 species of Hoverflies that can be found throughout the world so you may find it mystifying between the flies and the bees. But once you learned the difference between bees and the flies, you’ll find it everywhere.
Don’t get confused and look for the legs cause the flies have two wings whereas the bees have four. So you can easily tell which one’s bee and which ones fly. Also, you can identify it by looking the eyes, the one with the big eyes are fly whereas the eyes of bees are comparatively smaller. Anyway, since they feed on nectar and pollens, hoverflies are extremely important for pollinating plants and flowers.
Only the environmentalist or beekeepers can identify the killer bees apart from the regular honey bees in your garden. Unlike other counterparts, the Killer bee is immensely aggressive.
For instance, if it takes 20 minutes for European honey bees to calm down after all the aggression and violence, Africanized honey bee on the other takes more than hours to cool down, such is the aggression of AHB.
No doubt that these bees stir up the terror because it attacks the victim in the swarm, however, the best part is that their venom is not as dreadful as that of the average honey bee. Killer bees too carry the nectars and pollens from the flowers and feed the members of the colony including larvae.
They generally build their nest in eccentric places like tires, boxes, and crates. So, if you happen to see the bees in your old car then don’t irritate them cause you may be having an encounter with killer bees.
Blueberry bees (Habropoda laboriosa; Southeastern blueberry bee)
As the name suggests, Blueberry bees are the best blueberry pollinators in the blueberry fields or garden because they have grown to be a perfect pollinator for blueberries and their body size is just good enough for its bell-shaped flowers.
But it doesn’t mean that they are not good with other fruits and flowers. While they are tremendous pollinators for blueberries, they can also pollinate other flowers and fruits. And since they make a buzzing noise while moving inside the flower or walking in the garden, the gardeners can easily trace their movements.
They are about the size of the honey bee, however; they look enthralling due to banding and hair patterns. Also, their abdomen is bald.
Leafcutter bees (Genus: Megachile)
When it comes to making a nest, Leafcutter bees are close to Mason bees except for the mud because these bees prefer leaves or petals over pebbles to close up their nest cavities. Like other bees, the female workers don’t use hind legs to carry pollen rather they use hairs on the underside of the abdomen to get the work done.
Commercial growers mostly use leafcutter to pollinate onions, blueberries, onions, and carrots because they have realized that they can earn a great reward in the form of better crops with these bees. They are immensely important for pollinating wildflowers and vegetables.
They appear to be captivating with the white and black hairs that cover the thorax and the bottom of the abdomen. You can also count them on the fast-flying bees.