Bees: different can be? - UC Berkeley Urban Bee Lab

The sizes of bees are variable and in our garden we have small bees that are only a few millimeters in length, as well as some larger bees that are an average of two centimeters long and have a wingspan of three centimeters! Small bees are difficult to identify and most people do not realize they are bees. The largest carpenter bees are so large that when they visit the flowers for nectar and pollen the branch sinks with its weight.


In addition to the different sizes of bees, there are also different forms of bees. Some bees have very rounded abdomens, while others are very conical and reach a point. Some bees have long, thin bodies while others can be quite sturdy. Some have relatively large heads, such as leaf cutters, which are filled with large muscles that are used to carefully cut leaf discs to make nests. The difference in forms may be due to how the bee is lined in the flower or where it collects and retains pollen in its body.

Bees show a wide range of colors and it is not uncommon to see bees bright bees, yellow and black striped bees, metallic blue bees, black bees with white polka dots, and white and black striped bees. It is hard to say why these colors have evolved. One thought is that bright colors serve as a warning to predators. Another is that the colors help with the recognition of his partner or the recognition of the same species. There are also a lot of bee imitators among flies, moths and beetles that show the color patterns and behavior of bees and bumblebees so they can avoid predation. All these bees can easily be seen even in the garden of your house, then go out and have a look!

  • Adam Floyd