Bee identification doesn’t require a PhD in Entomology…
There are a lot of great reference texts and sites devoted to elements of bee identification, to be sure, and I’ll put my personal spin on things here. A great deal can be said about different types of bees and those insects with which they are easily confused. I’ll provide some summary information here, and if you scroll down, you can check out more specific and related pages. All photo thumbnails can be clicked to obtain enlargements.
|Bees, Wasps & Hornets at a Glance
Within Kingdom Animalia, the order Hymenoptera houses bees, wasps, hornets, sawflies and ants: insects that sting. Get an introduction here or look into more specific information in one of the categories devoted to bees or to wasps that follow.
|Types of Bees
Although they are typically associated with honey, only a few actually produce it. Welcome to the superfamily, Apoidea. Let’s try to navigate this constantly evolving branch of the taxonomy for the purpose of bee identification…
The seven species of bee that make up what we know as “honey bees”.
Furry and round, they are the darlings of the bee world.
|Wild versus ‘Domesticated’ Bees
Can bees truly be tamed like cats or dogs can? If you build them a home and they move in, are they truly ‘yours’?
Not all bees live in human-made boxes. Most members of the bee and wasp world build their own, and the locations can vary depending on the needs of the insect. For curious humans, the type of nest can help with identification.
|Life in the Hive
Find out more about how colonies are organized. Are there specific roles and responsibilities? What are the roles and responsibilities of queen bees, workers and drones?
|Wasps & Hornets
Wasps (and hornets) are part of a wide range of insects in the classification of living things. They are found grouped with ants, bees, and sawflies. There are thousands and thousands of species. Explore a small section: the superfamily, Vespoidea, where you’ll find the ‘common wasp’, among others.
|Photo Gallery: Insects Including Bees in Asia
A royalty-free image gallery of various flying insects, especially bees and bee look-alikes, that I capture during my wanderings through Asia (currently featured is China).