Comprehensive DescriptionRead full entry
The bees in this family display varying degrees of sociality in their living arrangements. While there are few species in this family, they are common visitors of many prairie wildflowers. Apinae (Honeybees): There is only one species in this subfamily, Apis mellifera (Honeybee), that is present in North America. This familiar bee was introduced to the New World by early colonists. It has declined in numbers in recent years and probably isn't as important as when Charles Robertson observed its behavior during 1880-1930. The flight time of the honeybee ranges from spring to late fall, and it visits a wide variety of wildflowers. Bombini (Bumblebees): These large fuzzy bees are probably the most important pollinators of all. They are especially like to visit the larger composite flowers and long tube-shaped flowers from various families of plants. They nest in the ground or in cavities of various kinds. This tribe includes various Bombus spp. (Bumblebees), which are usually black and yellow and covered with abundant hairs.