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What kind of bee?

By: Garden Gate staff
Not sure what kind of bees you’re seeing? Here are some ID tips.


what kind of bee?

Not sure what kind of bees you’re seeing? Here are some ID tips. Some carpenter bees and bumblebees may have slightly different markings than the ones here, but the hairiness of the body is still a good clue. Carpenter bees are solitary bees, unlike bumblebees and honeybees, so you won’t see a colony of them.

At about 1 in. long, carpenter bees (top illustration) are usually the largest of the three, with shiny, not furry, abdomens. They fly rapidly at about head height.

Bumblebees (middle illustration) are smaller — 1/2 to 3/4 in. — and furrier than carpenter bees. They fly slowly near the ground. Some have pollen baskets on their hind legs.

Honeybees are the smallest of the group, at about 3/8 to 5/8 in. long, and fly more quickly. More tan than yellow, they also may have pollen baskets.

Published: Aug. 4, 2009
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