How to identify different types of bees

When was the last time you were in your garden, saw a bee, grabbed it and squeezed it? Probably never, right?

Unless you’ve done that, there’s a good chance that if you’ve ever been stung it wasn’t by a bee, said Becky Griffin. And she would know. Griffin teaches classes on bees to children and adults through the Center for Urban Agriculture at the University of Georgia Extension’s Northwest District and is a certified beekeeper in Cherokee County, Georgia.

All U.S. native bees and honeybees, which are not native to North America, are capable of stinging, Griffin says. “But you would be hard pressed to be stung by one unless you accidentally smushed it or attacked its hive,” she adds. “Bees are truly not interested in people at all. They are interested in plants and flowers. If you’ve been stung, it was most likely by a wasp such as a yellow jacket.”

To understand why bees typically don’t sting, Griffin says it helps to recognize and understand the behavior of different types of bees.

Here is her take on the different types of bees — plus wasps, and a fly that mimics bees…

 

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