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What are some different types of bees?

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Quick Answer

Honeybee, bumblebee, leafcutter, digger, mining and sweat are some of the different types of bees. There are many different species of bee within each type. Some species of honeybee include European, Indian, Koschevnikov's honeybee and the giant honeybee.

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Full Answer

There are at least 50 species of bumblebee in North America. Like honeybees, bumblebees live in colonies with a queen, but bumblebee colonies tend to be much smaller. Common types of North American bumblebees include the western bumblebee, the American bumblebee, the yellow-banded bumblebee and the rusty-patched bumblebee.

Leafcutter bees do not live in colonies. They construct small nests in holes in wood, the ground or hollow stems of plants. This type of bee does not build honeycomb as honeybees do, but are much more effective pollinators than honeybees, due to the way they move when feeding on flowers. There are approximately 240 species of leafcutter bee in North America.

Digger and mining bees are non-aggressive solitary bees that dig tunnels in soil to create nests. Like leafcutter bees, they do not live in colonies, but several females frequently build nests in close proximity to each other, which gives the appearance of communal living.

Named for their attraction to perspiration, sweat bees are generally smaller than most species of honeybee and range in color from black to metallic green and even red. Like other types of ground bee, they construct nests in dirt or sand rather than building nests above ground. Some species of sweat bee are parasitic and lay their eggs in the stored food of other bees' nests.

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