You’re walking through your garden and you spot a fuzzy little creature buzzing in the flowers. You know a bee when you see one, but have you ever noticed that not all bees look the same? That’s because there are over 20,000 different species of bees in the world! That’s a lot of bees! A few of them, you’re likely to run into this summer. Let’s learn how to identify some of them! You can get started by scrolling to the bottom and testing your bee knowledge, or you can study first and then see how you do on the quiz — either way works!
Let’s get started:
This is certainly the most popular kind of bee. Bumble bees are large and very fuzzy! Unlike many other bees, the fuzz (which is called “pile”) covers it’s whole body, including it’s butt, making them look extra cuddly. That must be why they’re so popular!
You can tell a honey bee by it’s small, slender, and nearly smooth appearance. Their butts are striped with black and yellow. Honey bees earned their name by being the only kind of bee that produces true honey (the kind we like to eat)! These little ladies are a beekeeper’s dream!
The carpenter bee looks very similar to the bumble bee, except for it’s butt! Carpenter bees are fairly large and fuzzy, but with smooth, shiny black butts!
Red mason bees are small, with smooth, round, reddish butts. They are a solitary bee, so each female makes her own nest, and they don’t produce honey or beeswax. Mason’s are some of the most excellent pollinators of all bees!
Do you think you can remember all that? Test yourself and see!