Types Of Bees

Learn about the different Types Of Bees. There are over twenty thousand types of bees in the world, and scientist estimate there to be many more than this. Bees are necessary for the pollination of flowers and can be found anywhere flowers are located. They exist on every continent except Antarctica and belong to nine different families. The nine families for the different types of bees are: Andrenidae, Apidae, Colletidae, Dasypodaidae, Halictidae, Megachilidae, Meganomiidae, Melittidae, and Stenotritidae.

The Andrenidae is a large family of bees that exist everywhere bees are found, except Australia. The most well known bees are members of the Apidae family. The Colletidae family constitutes over fifty percent of the types of bees found in Australia. Dasypodaidae bees exist in temperate zones in North America and in Africa. Halictidae bees are better known as sweat bees, and they are found all over the world. The Megachilidae family consist of socially solitary bees. Meganomiidae bees are found exclusively in Yemen and Madagascar. This is the second smallest family of bees. The third smallest family of bees is the Melittidae, and they are only found in Africa. The smallest family, out of all the types of bees, is the Stenotritidae, and they only exist in Australia.

Bees can be solitary, communal, cleptoparasitic, eusocial, and semisocial. Bumblebees and honey bees live in eusocial colonies. To be considered eusocial, a colony of bees must have a division of labor and there must be a queen bee and her daughters. The daughters are worker bees. When there is only a division of labor, the bees are termed semisocial.

Solitary types of bees include carpenter bees, mason bees, and leafcutter bees. These types of bees are solitary because every female bee is fertile and there are no worker bees; therefore, they each have their own nest. Solitary bees gather pollen but, in most species, they do not produce beeswax or honey. When large nest of solitary bees are found in close proximity to one another it is called an aggregation. Certain solitary bees will share a common nest with other females. These are called communal bees, and each female is responsible for her own cell.

A cleptoparasitic bee is also known as a cuckoo bee. These bees are unable to collect pollen for themselves so they steal it from other bee types. The female bee sneaks into a large hive and lays her larva amongst the host bees larva. When the cleptoparasitic bees hatch they eat the pollen ball in the host nest and kill all of its larva.

The bumblebee, honey bee, Africanized honey bee, and mason bee are some of the most well known bees in the world. A bumblebee nest generally only contains fifty to two hundred bees, but despite their smaller community size, they are one of the most important pollinators of wild plants. The honey bee is the most recognized and widely known bee in the world. Africanized honey bees are a cross between European and African honey bees. This particular species of bee is quite aggressive, and they are sometimes called killer bees. The mason bee is a type of solitary bee and an extraordinary pollinator. A single female can pollinate as many as two thousand flowers in a single day. Other bee types include nocturnal bees, stingless bees, and even zombie bees.