Bees, if not for their pollinating or honey-making capability, are known for their stinging mechanism. That’s why it’s no surprise that many people treat them as pests. What a lot of humans don’t know, however, is that not all bees are aggressive (nor are all of them designed to make honey).

Just like any insect, there are various types of bees. Whilst some do wreak havoc in both human and bee life, most species only attack when provoked or disturbed. Nevertheless, they all greatly benefit the environment, which is why it’s important to identify them first in order to control them correctly if ever the occasion arises.

The Different Types of Bees


Honeybees can be easily distinguished by their golden brown colour and black abdominal stripes. If you do see one flying around your garden, it’s most likely a female worker collecting pollen.

Although this species rarely lives in wild colonies, you might still see one wandering around your neighbourhood. This is because they can fly to up to over three miles from their hive just to look for what they need.

A honeybee up close

Honeybees rarely sting and can only sting once. Their stinger is stuck in their abdomen and digestive tract. When pulling away after stinging, their stinger stays with the victim. This means their guts are being literally ripped out.


A bumblebee

Slightly larger than honey bees, bumblebees have dense yellow and black hair that cover their black body. It’s also easy to confuse them with carpenter bees, but it helps to remember that carpenter bees are bigger and have a broader head than them.

Much like honeybees, the ones you can see are female workers. They live in big colonies too.

Carpenter Bees

This species is despicable. The female ones begin their reproductive nest by boring a clean hole into your wood. This means that, if you spot sawdust on sills or stoops, a carpenter bee nest is definitely nearby.

A carpenter bee

Not only are they destructive for a lot of people, but for other species too. They chew into flowers that are too small for them just to get to the nectar. This isn’t pollination; this is stealing since no natural benefit is provided.

These bees can swoop out of nowhere and hover right in front of your face of your face as well. To safely remove these territorial insects from your property, do not hesitate to contact Bob Gunn Termite Solutions right away.

Mason Bees

A mason bee

Mason bees got their name from their habit of utilising mud to seal nest cavities. Small and agile, they are fast flyers that have metallic colours such as blue, black and dull green. It is in the spring when they are most active.

Leafcutter Bees

What makes this species different from Mason bees is that they use leaves to close the cavities of their nest. They are black in colour and have white hairs that cover their thorax and the bottom of their abdomen. Many species possess large heads with big jaws that help in cutting off leaf pieces to seal their nest.

A leafcutter bee

Blueberry Bees

A blueberry bee

Named after its almost in-sync evolution with native blueberries, this species is about the size of a honeybee. However, they have hair patterns and banding that make them appear like small bumble- or carpenter bees.

Their bodies can perfectly fit the bell-shaped flowers of blueberry plants, nesting near them in the ground once they’ve found them. Whilst excellent blueberry pollinators, they also pollinate other vegetation.

Squash Bees

Like the Blueberry bees, this species has evolved to become pollinating specialists of the family Cucurbitaceae. This includes cucumbers and squash.

When it comes to appearance, the head and thorax of squash honey bees go in shading from dark or tan to orange. The thorax is bushy and dark with grouped midriff stripes that are dark, white or tan.

A squash bee

Sweat Bees

A sweat bee

Attracted to human perspiration, Sweat bees are a large group of little bees with some only a fourth of the span of a honeybee. They are magnificent pollinators that are active into October and even into November.

They range in colour, from black to metallic blues and greens with copper and blue overtones. The abdomens of some have stripes or bands. They can be hard to see in light of their little size and on the grounds that they fly quickly.

Oder, T. (2017, July 26). How to identify different types of bees | MNN – Mother Nature Network.

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