Bees in Your Garden

by Sheri Murphy

Plant a garden and they will come—honey bees, bumble bees, and solitary bees. All bees are pollinators. Unfortunately, their numbers have decreased in recent years due to Colony Collapse Disorder, habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, and climate change.

Honeybees and bumblebees live in colonies. Honeybees may live in hives but can be found in other places like hollow trees. Bumble bee colonies may exist underground or in locations very close to humans. Both types of bees live in social hierarchies and perform their jobs for the good of all.  The solitary or carpenter bee is familial, concerned only with its own offspring. These bees make their nests by burrowing into wood. Their nests may be quite deep and contain several “rooms.”

All three types sting. The honeybee has a barbed stinger and almost always loses it when stinging. The bumble bee has a smooth stinger and gives the most painful sting. Riling any of them by swatting at them or going too close to their nests will result in a defensive attack. If you have an infestation, seek a professional to solve the problem.

If I have piqued your interest, Google “bee facts” and prepare to be amazed. I am on Pinterest @shlemu99 and have both a bee board with more information as well as a butterfly board.

Curious about the bee-like insect in the photograph? It’s a diurnal snowberry moth sometimes known as a hummingbird moth. I hope you will see one; they are fascinating!

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