Preschool Bees Fast Facts

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Solitary, communal, and quasisocial Bees

Some other bees form small colonies. For example, most species of bumblebee (Bombus terrestris, B. pratorum, et al.) live in colonies of 30-400 bees. (By contrast, an average honeybee hive at the height of summer will have 40,000 - 80,000 bees.) The queen bee is typically able to survive on her own for at least a short time (unlike queens in eusocial species who must be cared for at all times).

Other species of bee such as the Orchard Mason bee (Osmia lignaria) and the hornfaced bee (Osmia cornifrons) are solitary in that every female is fertile. There are no worker bees for these species. Solitary bees typically produce neither honey nor beeswax. They are immune from tracheal and varroa mites, but have their own unique parasites, pests and diseases. (see diseases of the honeybee)

Kleptoparasitic Bees

Cuckoo bees are bumblebee look-alikes that invade bumblebee nests and lay their eggs. The bumblebees raise the young as their own. Megachilid bees also have other megachilid Coelioxys bees whose young are placed into the already provisioned nests of these solitary bees. They destroy the host larvae and eat the food.


All bees eat nectar and pollen. Bees are excellent pollinators and play an important role in agriculture.

Bees are the favorite meal of Merops apiaster, a bird.

Eusocial bees
Honey Bee Pheromones

These fast facts were based off of a Wikipedia Document on Bees.

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