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Bee Identification Guide

Identifying Bees isn't easy, what with over 200 different species of bee and some that look very similar, even for an entomologist identifying bees isn't always very straight forward. You need to take in account things such as the bees habitat, time of year, colour and so many other things. We have created a helpful bee identification guide to help you tell the difference between a white-tailed bee and common carder bee. 

Bumblebees

The Early Bumblebee

Bombus Pratorum
A small (one of the smallest) bumblebee that can be found all across the UK and is one of the first bees to come out of hibernation.
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White-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus Lucorum

Garden Bumblebee

Bombus Hortorum
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Tree Bumblebee

Bombus Hypnorum

Heath Bumblebee

Bombus Jonellus

Red-tailed Bumblebee

Bombus Lapidarius

Red-tailed cuckoo bee

Bombus Lapidarius

Red-Shanked Carder Bee

Bombus Ruderarius

Common Carder Bee

Bombus Pascuorum

Moss Carder Bee

Bombus Muscorum

Brown-Banded Carder Bee

Bombus Humilis

Shrill Carder Bee

Bombus Sylvarum

Honeybee

Honeybee (European)

Apis Mellifera
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Do any other insects make honey?
Bumblebees & Stingless Bees
Yes they do! Some bumblebees make honey but they don't build up stores of it and whatever honey is produced is done on a much, much smaller scale compared to a honeybee. Honeybees are farmed and we only take what we need, leaving enough for the bees. The amount of honey bumblebees produce is so small it's it's not a good idea to harvest any of it. Stingless bees are most commonly found in warmer areas such as Australia and honey from stingless bees is known as sugarbag, which has a higher water content than traditional honey, giving it a runnier consistency plus slightly tangier taste.
Mexican Wasps & Honeypot Ants
There are only a few species of wasps that make honey and one in particular is the Mexican honey wasp. This wasp stores honey in its paper-like hive with locals harvesting hives to collect the wasp's larvae, which is considered a delicacy with some indigenous communities. Lastly on our list is the honeypot ant. These ants store honey in a way I bet you never imagined. They eat so much nectar that their abdomens swell to around the size of a grape. Once in the safety of their nest they then regurgitate honey to feed the colony.

Solitary Bees

Wool Carder Bee

Anthidium Manicatum

Common Mourning Bee

Melecta Albifrons

Hairy-footed Flower Bee

Anthophora Plumipes

Leafcutter Bees

Megachilidae

Small Scissor Bee

Chelostoma Campanularum

Tawny Mining Bee

Andrena Fulva
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Ashy Mining Bee

Andrena Cineraria

Orange-tailed Mining Bee

Andrena Haemorrhoa

Red Mason Bee

Osmia Bicornis

Long-horned Bee

Eucerini

Golden Northern Bee

Bombus Fervidus

Blue Banded Bee

Amegilla Cingulata

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