Bees

Bees, particularly the domesticated honeybee, are among the most beneficial of garden insects, since they are efficient, dependable pollinators. While large numbers of bees visiting flower beds or flowering fruit crops may intimidate some gardeners, bees are unlikely to sting unless threatened in some way. Therefore, don't swat at bees. If a bee lands on you, stay calm and do not move quickly; if it lingers beyond your limits of tolerance, brush it off gently with a piece of paper. You can further prevent bee stings by avoiding perfumes and other heavily-scented toiletries, brightly colored and patterned clothing, and going barefoot in or near the garden. Persons allergic to bee stings should remain away from areas where bees are active, and should consult a physician regarding medication available on prescription for emergency treatment of stings.

The terms bee, hornet and wasp are often used interchangeably--and thus incorrectly. Yellow jackets, for example are wasps; for information about them and other related species, see wasps.

Specific bees

Other images

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Honeybees (Hymenoptera) swarming in a crabapple tree; although a swarm of bees may seem threatening, they are actually unlikely to sting when glutted with honey and preparing to find a new nest
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Swarm of honeybees (Hymenoptera) in a crabapple tree
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Bumblebee (Hymenoptera) on milkweed (Asclepias)
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A bee (Hymenoptera) lapping up nectar on a clethra blossum (Clethra)
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Honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) on garlic chives with a ball of pollen on its hindleg
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Honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) on garlic chives lapping up nectar
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Honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) inside a crocrus blossom and covered with pollen
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Honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) caught in mid-air. At 1/800 of a second the wings are still a blur.
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A honey comb (Hymenoptera) found inside a hollow tree
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A honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) on sedum (Hylotelephium); note the flattened sections of hind legs used to collect pollen.
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A honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) with a ball of pollen collected on its hind leg.
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A honeybee worker (Hymenoptera) on an aster flower
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Wool carder bee (Hymenoptera), Anthidium, on garlic chives; these bees scrape fuzz off wooly- leaved plants like lambs' ears to line their nests.
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A honeybee (Hymenoptera) lapping up nectar from an aster; note that its pollen basket is empty
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All bees are beneficial pollinators. Here a honeybee and a bumble bee or possibly carpenter bee (Hymenoptera) are lapping nectar from bluebeard flowers (Caryopteris)
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A honeybee (Hymenoptera) with its pollen baskets bulging
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Honeybee (Hymenoptera) on dock flower with the pollen baskets on the hindlegs bulging
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Wool carder bee (Hymenoptera), Anthidium, on garlic chives; these bees scrape fuzz off wooly- leaved plants like lambs' ears to line their nests.
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An unidentified bee (Hymenoptera) on salvia (Salvia x sylvestris 'Viola Klose')
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An unidentified bee (Hymenoptera) on salvia (Salvia x sylvestris 'Viola Klose')
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Swarm of honeybees (Hymenoptera) June 2010
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A honeybee and a bumble bee (Hymenoptera) collecting nectar from goldenrod (Solidago)
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Swarm of honeybees (Hymenoptera) attached to the understide of a picnic table.
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A house for solitary bees (Hymenoptera)
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Bumble bee (Hymenoptera) lapping up nectar
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Bumble bee (Hymenoptera)