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Apidae

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Bumble bees

English
Bombus

Bumble bees are large, stocky, hairy insects, generally from 6 to 25 mm long. Their bodies are often black and yellow, sometimes with orange, red or white markings.

The hind legs of female bumble bees are modified to help them collect and carry pollen. Their abdomens are tipped with a stinger.

They form organized societies divided into three castes. The queen is the largest insect in the colony and measures from 13 to 32 mm long. Workers – all females – vary from 7 to 18 mm, and males are from 10 to 17 mm long.

Honey bees

English
Apis mellifera

Honey bees have hairy bodies with thick waists. Their mouthparts are the licking-chewing type. They have two pairs of wings on the thorax held together with hooks. There are three castes in the species: the queen, workers and drones.

The queen is the largest bee in the colony, 16 to 20 mm long. Her pointed abdomen extends far beyond her wings and is tipped with an egg-laying organ.

Workers are all females, and are about 12 mm long. They have specialized structures on their legs for gathering and carrying pollen. Their abdomens have glands for producing wax, and are tipped with a stinger.

Drones are the males of the colony. They have massive bodies, 15 to 16 mm long. Their abdomens have rounded tips. They have large eyes and no stinger.

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