Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Class Insecta (Insects)
Order Hymenoptera (Ants, Bees, Wasps and Sawflies)
No Taxon (Aculeata - Ants, Bees and Stinging Wasps)
No Taxon Anthophila (Apoidea) - Bees
Other Common Names
Spanish: abeja (plural abejas)
Explanation of Names
is from Old English bēo
, that from Germanic roots, ultimately from the Indo-European bhī
meaning bee, or insect (Wiktionary--bee
). Most modern non-Romance European languages have a word for bee
derived from this same Indo-European root. It seems likely that the word originated as an imitation of the buzzing of bees, i.e., it is echoic (Partridge, 1958).
is from Latin apis
meaning bee, and this particular Latin word does not appear to be related to the Indo-European word for bee (Wiktionary--apis
ca. 3,500 described spp. in our area, almost 20,000 spp. worldwide(1)
short, collar-like. Body usually very hairy. A distinctive feature of bees is that their hairs (at least some of them, particularly on the thorax) are branched or plumose
; while those of wasps are simple. The hairs of bees collect pollen that they periodically brush and store on pollen transporting apparatus:
, brushes of hairs on the hind legs or on the abdomen
, basket-like structures on the hind tibia
, as in the honey bee
and related groups, (Apidae
The bees that lay their eggs in other bees' nests, “cuckoo bees", look wasplike; they have less hair and lack pollen transporting apparatus.
Key to e. US spp. in(2)
, to e. Canada genera in(3)
OVERVIEW OF FAMILIES
Family Andrenidae - Mining Bees
Family Apidae - Cuckoo, Carpenter, Digger, Bumble, and Honey Bees
Family Colletidae - Plasterer Bees, Masked or Yellow-faced Bees
Family Halictidae - Sweat Bees
Family Megachilidae - Leaf-cutter Bees, Mason Bees, and allies
Family Melittidae - Melittid Bees
Worldwide, except high mountains and polar regions. However, there are a few bumble bees that live within the Arctic circle (B. polaris
and B. hyperboreus
(Heinrich. Bumblebee economics
Primarily nectar and pollen from flowers. A few collect floral oils.
Many species collect pollen from a wide range of plants (polylectic), others specialize on only a few species of the same family or even just the same genus (oligolectic). A few collect pollen from only one species (monolectic).
Pollen collecting bees are extremely important for the pollination of plants, including many crops such as most fruits and vegetables. Their pollinating services in the U. S. have been estimated in the millions of dollars. Not only honey bees but many other species of bees play this role.
Honey bees and bumble bees are highly social; their colonies consist of a queen, workers and drones. Some halictid bees are primitively social.
Danforth et al. (2006)
(history of early bee diversification)
|1.||The bees of Colorado (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)|
V.L. Scott, J.S. Ascher, T. Griswold, C.R. Nufio. 2011. Natural History Inventory of Colorado 23: vi+100 pp.
|2.||Bees of the eastern United States|
T.B. Mitchell. 1962. Tech. Bull. (NC Agric. Experiment Station): No. 141 (538 pp.), 1960; and No. 152 (557 pp.).
|3.||The bee genera of Eastern Canada|
L. Packer, J.A. Genaro, C.S. Sheffield. 2007. Canadian Journal of Arthropod Identification 3.
|4.||The Bees of the World, 2nd edition|
Charles D. Michener. 2007. The Johns Hopkins University Press.
|5.||Bees of the World|
C. O'Toole & A. Raw. 1999. Blandford. 192 pp.
|6.||Bees of Wisconsin (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila)|
A.T. Wolf & J.S. Ascher. 2009. The Great Lakes Entomologist 41: 129-168.