Bee Identification

How To Master Bee Identification

The family of bees and wasps is a large one indeed, as top scientists of bee identification  at the American Museum of Natural Resources has recently released a compilation of 19,200 species of bee known to man. This number exceeds the number of both mammal and bird species combined to date, and attests to the importance of bees in balancing the ecological flow of our earth.

Wasps and bees have three distinct body parts; the head, the thorax, and the abdomen. They also have two sets of wings, though the secondary wings are notably smaller and harder to see, especially in bees when they are at rest. Hornets are simply a strain of large wasps, and can easily range in size from 1 to 1 5/6th  inches in length. As bee identification can be confusing, and for good reason, there a few rules of thumb that one can follow to help with control and protection.

The honeybee’s color is very close to that of the honey he harvests, and their hives can be massive in size. Colonies have been known to take over hollow trees and to completely consume large stumps. Though these bees are a relatively peaceful and amiable species when in the wild, who would just as soon flee as to fight, they can be riled to the point of aggression when attacked or threatened as a whole. The honeybee is the only species whose death is certain after stinging a human. The barbs of the stinger penetrate the soft flesh, and will pull out of the bees abdomen afterwards, leaving a mortal rupture.

Bee identification gets a bit more detailed hereafter, as both bees and wasps can have shiny exoskeletons. Wasps can must easily be identified by their sleek and slender build, and the wings tend to be a bit longer and more streamlined as well. Wasps are most generally carnivorous, feeding on pests, parasites, grasshoppers, and crickets, whereas the bee is an herbivore.

Hornets are carnivorous as well, and are known to be ruthlessly aggressive when bothered close to their home turf. Bald-faced hornets are the most common species in North America, and can be confused easily with the yellow-jacket, which is a wasp as well. Hornets tend to build their nests in an aerial location, and usually defend their privacy. The plus side to this is that you will rarely have a hornets nest built close to your house. The down side is that he reserves the right to remind you that he’s around should you venture too close to his territory.