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What Are Bees?

Bees are a a group of wasps that have given up the predaceous lifestyle of feeding their offspring with animal protein (e.g., mostly other arthropods), instead provisioning their nests with plant derived protein, mainly in the form of pollen. Thus bees are dependent on flowers, and this relationship has made them the most important pollinators. Like their other wasp relatives, nest building bees will excavate nests in the ground or other materials (e.g., decomposing wood) or will occupy pre-existing cavities. Nest building bees range in sociality from entirely solitary species (i.e., most bee species) to more complex levels of communalism and nest entrance sharing, to the development of castes (i.e., non-reporducing female workers and queens) with annual or perrenial colony cycles. Other bees are cleptoparasites, with females using the nests and provisions of host bees to rear their own young.

Latest Buzz

March 15, 2024
Duarte et al. indicate that wild pollinators in Canada help to sustain, via nutrition tied to agricultural productivity, approximately 24.4 million people each year, with a economic value of ca. $2.8 billion CAD for farmers.
January 25, 2024
Cory Sheffield published a review of the Stelidium Robertson, 1902 group of the cuckoo bee genus Stelis Panzer, 1806 (subgenus Stelis Panzer, 1806), describing two new species, including one from British Columbia.