Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
Photo#138305
Which Honey Bee? - Apis mellifera - female

Which Honey Bee? - Apis mellifera - Female
Jim Thorpe, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, USA
August 12, 2007

I'm not sure exactly what you
I'm not sure exactly what you mean. Do you mean which sex? Of course there is only one species of honey bee in NA - Apis Mellifera

 
I asked because others are li
I asked because others are listed here.

 
It is interesting to note tha
It is interesting to note that there really are no 'wild' honey bees in NA. All those honey bees you see out in the open are what you might call 'escapees' from domestic hives. They set up colonies usually in hollowed out tree cavities.

 
Wild honeybees
While there are no native honeybees, there are certainly wild ones. I'm sure many of the Apis mellifera mellifera in North America have a lineage going back for 4 centuries of living outside of human control.

 
Thanks for the distinction.
Thanks for the distinction. Yes 'native' wild bees. How could anyone know that though? That a direct and contained lineage has been in continous existence for 400 years. Bees are constantly escaping I presume.

 
A further distinction
Even if they have been living in the wild for hundreds of years, they are still introduced, not native. Sometimes they are called feral, rather than wild to avoid confusion. The same goes for feral cats, dogs, etc.
BTW, native Americans used to call them "the White Man's Fly", a new insect to be found wherever whites settled.

 
Honey Bees were very scarce h
Honey Bees were very scarce here for several years. I'd be lucky to see maybe 1 (no kidding-it was that bad) and this year there are hundreds (in just one small place) and all the other bees and wasps get out of their way!! I'm glad they're back!