Posted by John Borst
Local bee expert Ann Puddicombe, informed Dryden Rotarians that there are around 400 different species of bees in Ontario. There are about 20,000 world-wide. But here favourite bee is the humble Bumble Bee.
According to Puddicombe, bees range in size from about 1 mm to 2 cm. There are she said two groups of bees “solitary” which are the vast majority and “social bees”. Solitary bees have no queens or workers but are male or female. About 70% live in the ground in nests. Two examples are the leaf cutter bee and the carpenter bee.
 
Social bees have queen bees, and workers. They in turn have a division of labour. Two examples of social bees are the honey-bee and the bumble bee.
 
For us, the most important thing bees do is pollinate our plants so we have all kinds of food. The honey bee on the other hand produces a food. But they are not great pollinators. The bumble bee on the other hand is our best pollinator and that is why she likes them over the honey-bee.
 

Solitary vs the Social Bee

 
 
 
 
 
Honey-bees are not native to Canada but were imported from Europe in 1800s. They are the only bee that has honey stores.
 
Puddicombe described the many different kinds of Bumble bees and provided a list of the most common types of Bumble Bees found in our area.  To identify a bumble bee, take some photos and load them up to BumbleBeeWatch.org and it will be identified.
 
Pubbicombe left us with something to thin about. She asked  “How much of each meal you eat requires pollination somewhere in
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