Why male honeybees try to blind their queens

How to identify different types of bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and other flying insects

You don’t casually date a queen.

Most male honeybees only get one shot at it. And she doesn’t have time for dinner.

So what does a humble drone do to make sure she always remembers him? Wear his best pin-striped suit? A bouquet of pollen-rich daisies?

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, suggest he brings something a little darker to the party: a toxin that makes her go blind. Read more..

How to identify different types of bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets and other flying insects.

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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 the honeybee, which is 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 — that you’re most likely to encounter in your vegetable or ornamental garden, no matter where in the U.S. you live. The insects described below represent groups of insects, of which there are many varieties. Read more..