Honeybees and their relatives

I he most familiar members of this family are the stout, very hairy bumblebees and the smaller, more slender honeybees. Most females have a special pollen basket (corbiculum) on the outside of the hind tibiae. (Coloration is highly varied.

• LlFF CY( A L These bees are social and live in colonics consisting of an egg-laying queen, males (drones), and sterile worker females who find food and look after the young. Bumblebees form small colonies under or on the ground. The nests in which they lay their eggs are made of grass with wax brood cells. I loneybcc colonics comprise a queen, up to 2,000 males, and thousands of workers. The nest is an array of double-sided wax combs divided into hexagonal cells for rearing young and storing pollen and honey. Workers use a dance language to convey the distance, quality, and direction of food.

• OCCl JRRKNCF Worldwide, except in sub-Saharan Africa. Bumblebees are very common in northern temperate regions. In well-vegetated, flower-rich habitats.

• RFMARK In addition to providing honey, wax, and other products, these bees pollinate most of the world's plants.

stout thorax

El 'GLOSSA ASAROPHORA is native to Panama and (Costa Rica. Members of this genus are known as orchid bees because the males collect oils and resins from orchids to use in courtship rituals.

bright metallic blue coloration reddish sheen bright metallic-green head

hexagonal cells of vneycomb, made of wax workers tending larvae

Kt'GLOSSA lNTP.RSP.ClA is native to irinam, Guyana, and parts of northern azil. Like most h.ug/ossa species, it has ight, metallic coloration.

hexagonal cells of vneycomb, made of wax workers tending larvae

Apis mi i.lii i:r \, the Western oneybec, is now found worldwide id is the best known member of the meybee genus Apis. Millions of trips •tween flowers and the hive are quired to make one jarful of honey.

A b()mbus l.ucorum is an extremely common bumblebee species. It makes its nest under the ground and is one of the first bees to be seen in early summer in Europe.

A bom bus tf.rristr1s is known as the Muff-tailed Bumblebee because the workers and males always have a whitish abdominal tail. Here, a sterile female worker bee feeds at a flower.

pale yellow "collar " <>

abdomen less hairy than that of bumblebee

• pollen basket absent wings often darker tinged than those of • bumblebees mostly red abdomen fringe of pale hairs at rear margin of thorax compound eye

mostly red abdomen hairy hind tibiae

> psithyrus SPECIES are closely associated with bumblebees. They are cuckoo bees that lay their eggs in the nests of Bombus species. Many Psifhyrus bees closely resemble bumblebees, especially the species that they parasitize.

pale yellow "collar " <>

abdomen less hairy than that of bumblebee

• pollen basket absent lemon-yellow ollar"

wings often darker tinged than those of • bumblebees pollen load carried on hindleg fringe of pale hairs at rear margin of thorax

<Bombus monticoia is a relatively small, distinctive bumblebee. As its name implies, it is common in upland and mountainous areas. It makes a nest in underground burrows, often close to bilberry plants.

yellow-orange - "collar"

compound eye

Order HYMENOPTERA

Family BktHYLIDAE

Bethylids

I Isually black or brownish, these wasps have quite elongate heads. Some females look antlike; certain others have a pitted surface and look similar to velvet ants (sec p. 187). Wings may be present in both sexes but females are often wingless.

• LIFE CYCLE P ernales lay eggs on the outside of hosts such as beetle larvae or moth caterpillars -either a host she has found in a sheltered spot, or one that she has paralyzed and dragged to such a place. She may stay with the larvae as they develop.

• OCCURRENCE Worldwide, especially in warm regions. In varied habitats, where hosts are found. '

I .ARVAE are pale and fatter toward the rear.

li/ THYi.rs SPECIES have very potent stings for their small size. I losts are either paralyzed or killed.

♦ large head compared with thorax

I .ARVAE are pale and fatter toward the rear.

Larval feeding habits

0rder HYMENOPTERA

Family CHRYSII)IDAE

No. of species ^ qqq

convex face with strong mandibles hard, dimpled body surface

dark femora long, tubular tongue for nectar feeding latge, scalelike structures cover w ing bases strong dimples

bright metallic green coloration most of abdomen has pinkish tinge not all segments of <ibdomen are visible from above

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