|The North Hive Gets a Honey Super - Photo by Mr. Bee|
Today I'll share a little about the differences between honey bees and the other insects they are sometimes confused with. Many of these tips come from Beekeeping For Dummies.
Many people mistakenly lump all insects with stingers into the "bee" category. Honeybees are usually gentle in nature, and true bees are covered in hair and they use pollen and nectar from plants as their food source. Away from their hive, they are non-aggressive. They are not apt to sting, since they die afterwards, unless they feel the hive or their honey is being bothered. Honeybees are master pollinators and account for helping with many of the foods we eat.
|Honeybee with Full Pollen Sacs - Photo by Mr. Bee|
The Bumblebee is plump and covered with hair. They live in small ground nests and die off every autumn. They make very small amounts of honey and are usually very docile.
|Bumblebee - Photo from Wikipedia.org|
|Carpenter Bee - Photo from Wikipedia.org|
|Wasp - Photo from Wikipedia.org|
|Yellow Jacket - Photo from Wikipedia.org|
Finally, the Hornet. They are "not lovable" and much like yellow jackets, except that they build their nests above ground. They are also meat eaters and are ruthless hunters. As scary as they are, they do build impressively large nests.
I am not a fan of most of these stinging insects - except the Bumblebee, who doesn't love that big 'ol bumblebee?? - but I have learned that they play an important part by aiding in decomposition in nature.
The main lesson we can walk away with here is the same thing we're teaching Little Miss Bee:
If you see a bee (or anything like it), leave it alone. If you see a honeybee, you can thank it for a third of your diet.