Gallery - Bees
Honey bees are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis. Currently, there are only seven recognised species of honey bee with a total of 44 subspecies, though historically, anywhere from six to eleven species have been recognised. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees.
Relatively large and very hairy social bees of the genus Bombus. They form annual colonies, with only mated queens surviving the winter to start new colonies in the spring.
Bombus hypnorum has a short proboscis and a rounded head. The thorax is usually of a uniformly ginger colour (but examples with a darker, or even black thorax occur), the abdomen is black-haired and the tail is always white. In workers, the first tergite (abdominal segment) is black-haired, but a proportion of males may have ginger hairs intermixed with the black hair, both on the face and on the first abdominal tergum. On the European continent, individuals with extended yellow coloration exist. Workers are often (but not always) small, drones are much bigger, and the queens vary in size.
Very Common Bumble Bee, nests below ground.
The Red-tailed Bumblebee is a very common bumblebee, emerging early in the spring and feeding on flowers right through to the autumn. It can be found in gardens, farmland, woodland edges, hedgerows and heathland: anywhere there are flowers to feed on. As with other social insects, the queen emerges from hibernation in spring and starts the colony by laying a few eggs that hatch as workers; these workers tend the young and nest. Males emerge later and mate with new females who are prospective queens. Both the males and old queen die in the autumn, but the new queens hibernate.
20-40mm. one of several simlar bees, but the bright yellow bands distiguish it Queens spend a lot of time at flowers in spring.They usually nest just under the ground, often in old mouse holes.
This bumblebee has an oblong head and a very long glossa, about 15 mm (0.59 in), and in some cases even 20 mm (0.79 in). The tongue is so long, the bee often flys with it extended when collecting nectar. The queen is variable in size, with body lengths between 19 and 22 mm (0.75 and 0.87 in), and wing spans from 35 to 38 mm (1.4 to 1.5 in). The workers are almost as large, the larger ones overlapping the smaller queens. Their colour is black with a yellow collar, a narrow yellow band on the scutellum, and a third yellow band on terga (abdominal segments) 1 and 2. The tail is white. Darker forms, with little yellow in their fur, are common.
Very common bumble bee, particulary fond of dead-nettle flowers.Nest normally built in rough grass.
Mining Bees (Andrena Andrenidae)
A large genus with many species superficially like honey bees. Abdomen often rather flat, 3 sub-marginals. Tounge short and pointed. Andrena species generaly nest in ground and apear mainly in spring.
One of several species of mining bee
© Simon Thurgood 2017
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