Stingless bees are very diverse in their behavior, but they are all highly social. They practice mass procurement, complex nest architecture, and perennial colonies.
The true honey bee (genus Apis) undoubtedly have the most complex social behavior among bees. The European (or Western) bee, Apis mellifera, is the best-known bee species and one of the best-known insects.
Honey bee live in large “families” and are found all over the world. The honey bee is the only social insect whose colony can survive for many years. This is because they cuddle together and eat honey to stay alive during the winter months. Bees pollinate more than 100 crops in the US alone.
Honey bees produce pollen honey and nectar from plants that pollinate. They store honey in honeycombs in their nests, which they then use to feed their young in the colder months.
Honey Bee Habitat:
Bee nests vary in size. They usually make their nests in the cracks of the trees. From time to time they make their nests in the attics or chimneys.
Bumble bee (Bombus terrestris) are types of eusocial bees, in a very similar way to vespids, like wasps. The queen initiates a nest on her own (unlike the queens of honey bees and stingless bees, who begin their nests through swarms, accompanied by a group of workers). Bumble bee colonies typically have 50 to 200 bees in their maximum population, which occurs in the mid or late summer.
The architecture of the nest is simple, limited by the size of the nest cavity (preexisting). The colonies are rarely perennial. Bumble bee queens sometimes seek safety in the winter in hives of honey bees, where they are sometimes found dead by beekeepers, presumably chopped to death by honey bees. It is unknown if any survive the winter in such an environment.
Bumblebees are one of the most important wild pollinators, but have declined significantly in recent decades. In the United Kingdom, two species have become extinct nationally over the last 75 years, while others have been placed on the UK Biodiversity Action Plan as a priority species in recognition of the need for conservation.
Africanized bee, also called killer bees, are a hybrid strain of Apis mellifera derived from experiments by Warwick Estevam Kerr to cross European and African bees. Several queens escaped from their laboratory in South America and have spread throughout the American continent. African honey bees are more defensive than European bees.
They are known to chase people for more than a quarter of a mile, once they get excited and assaulted. Although they are known as “killer” bees, their venom is no more dangerous than that of regular bees. Their attacks are more detrimental as they tend to attack in greater numbers, which increases the chances of having a severe allergic reaction to the released poison when they bite you.
Solitary and communal Bees:
Most other bee, including known bee species, such as the Eastern carpenter bee (Xylocopa virginica), alfalfa leaf bees (Megachile rotundata), the beekeeper of the orchard (Osmia lignaria) and the horned bee (Osmia cornifrons) are solitary, in the sense that each female is fertile, and usually inhabits a nest that she constructs by herself. There are no working bees for these species. Solitary bees usually produce neither honey nor beeswax. They are immune to varroa mites, but have their own unique parasites, pests and diseases.
Solitary bee are important pollinators, and pollen is collected for nesting and feeding their young. It is often mixed with nectar to form a pasty consistency. Some solitary bees have very advanced types of pollen structures, which they carry on their bodies. Some species of solitary bees are being increasingly cultivated for commercial pollination. Most of these species belong to a different set of genera, namely: Carpenter bees, sweat bees, mason bees, honey bees, polyester bees, dwarf carpenter bees, leaf bees, bulldozer bees.
Solitary bee usually only collect pollen from one or a few species / genera of plants (unlike honeybees and bumblebees that are generalists).
Parasitic bees, commonly called “cuco bees” due to their behavior similar to cuckoo birds, occur in several families of bees, although their name is technically better applied to the subfamily Nomadinae apid. The females of these bees lack structures that collect pollen (scopa) and do not build their own nests.
They usually enter the nests of the species that collect the pollen, and lay their eggs in the cells supplied by the host bee. When the larva of the cuckoo bee hatch consumes the pollen ball of the host larva. If the female parasitic bee has not already done so, it kills and eats the host larvae. In a few cases, where hosts are social species, the parasitic bee stays in the host nest and lays lots of eggs, sometimes even kills the host queen and replaces her.
Many parasitic bees are closely related and resemble their hosts in appearance and size.
Four families of bees (Andrenidae, Colletidae, Halictidae and Apidae) contain some species that are crepuscular (they can be both evening and morning). These bees have greatly enlarged their eyes, and are extremely sensitive to light and darkness, although they are unable to form images. Many are crepuscular flower pollinators, such as onagras, and some live in desert habitats where daytime temperatures are extremely high.