All about bees

What are the differences between bees, flies and wasps:

Bees, flies and wasps can look quite similar but have important characteristics which differentiate then from each other.

Bees have four wings but all flies have only two wings.

Bees feed their young with pollen collected from flowers while wasps feed their young on insect or spider prey. So if you see an insect collecting pollen from a flower, it is a bee, not a wasp. You could say: wasps are carnivores and bees are vegetarians!

What is meant by the term ‘Social bees’?

Australia has about ten species of social native bees (genera Tetragonula and Austroplebeia). These species have a queen bee plus thousands of sterile female worker bees and some male drone bees in each nest. Australia’s social native bees are stingless and usually nest inside hollow trees. Two species of social native bees in Australia are Tetragonula carbonaria and Tetragonula hockingsi

What is meant by the term ‘solitary bees’

Nearly all of Australia’s 1,500 or more native bee species are solitary. Solitary bees do not have queens, workers and drones. Instead in most species, just one female bee mates and then builds an individual nest for her eggs, just like a bird does.

Blue banded bees, leafcutter bees and teddy bear bees are examples of solitary bees. Solitary bees do not store any honey in their tiny nests.