13 Amazing Types of Bees

Did you know that without bees, human beings would be extinct? 

This is because bees, among other things, are incredible pollinators and our food sources rely on bees to fertilize them so that they can reproduce.

There are over 20,000 bee species in the world and they live nearly everywhere. 

We can’t introduce you to all these bees so our 11 amazing types of bees aim to introduce you to the most common categories of bees. 

These are divided into 3 x social bees and 8 x solitary bees. 

Social Bees

social bees

A social bee, as the name suggests, is a bee that lives in a society.

These are the bees that create hives and colonies and they are the best known bees to most humans. 



Bumble bees have a distinct look and are big and hairy. 

That fur coat that a bumble bee sports makes it a super effective pollinator and only honey bees do more pollinating than the bumble bee even though there aren’t anywhere near as many bumble bees. 

Sadly, in the last few decades more than 20% of the world’s bumble bees have disappeared due to the use of pesticides and because of the changing climate. 

Honey Bees

honey bees

Honey bees are those that human beings come into contact with most often. 

In fact, we love honey bees so much that we did a round up of the best beekeeping starter kits and bee feeding devices.

You can also keep honey bees in an indoor beehive!

Honey bees are, along with bumble bees, the reason we are all alive today as they are nature’s finest pollinators. 

They’re called honey bees because they make honey and they’re smaller and more delicate than the bumble bee. 

Killer Bees

african killer bees

The African or “Killer” Bee gets rough press but while they are quite aggressive, they’re also very small and their sting is less painful than that of a honey bee.

You’ve got to work quite hard to get killed by killer bees, that is unless you’re allergic to bee stings. 

If you do get attacked by them, cover your head and run as far away as possible and find shelter. 

Solitary Bees

solitary bees

Solitary bees live by themselves or in small groups. 

They don’t produce honey and they tend to be fairly harmless. 

Carpenter Bees

carpenter bees

These bees live in wooden items (from logs to park benches) and they’re completely harmless.

They look a bit like a bumble bee but are blue and black rather than yellow and black. 

If you want to keep them out of your woodwork, paint it and pressure wash it. 

Digger Bees

digger bees

These tiny bees live in holes that they dig in the ground. 

They do defend these holes but we don’t know anyone who has been stung by a digger bee.

Mining Bees

mining bees

These bees build the bee equivalent of apartments underground! 

They are completely harmless and should be left alone if you find them. 

Leafcutter Bees

leafcutter bees

These dark colored bees look very little like a traditional bee at all, you might even think they were made of metal!

Like mason bees, coming up next, they like to live in rotting wood and between panels in buildings. 

They cut leaves, in order to use the pieces to signpost where they live!

Mason Bees

mason bees

Mason bees prefer cement to wood and live in buildings. 

Many people panic about their presence but they don’t damage the buildings they live in and you really have to provoke a masonry bee to get it to sting. 

Sweat Bees

sweat bees

Sweat bees (or alkali bees) like to feed on the sweat of animals, including humans. 

That might sound scary but they’re tiny and the only way to get them to sting you is to try and squash them – otherwise, they’re harmless. 

Plasterer Bees

plasterer bees

The plasterer bee is at home underground or in cracks in stone and brick work. 

They’re bigger than sweat bees but not by very much and are harmless too. 

Yellow-Faced Bees

yellow-faced bees

They look scary but they are super small and, in fact, very closely related to plasterer bees. 

They have the most interesting and intricate mating rituals of any group of bees. 

Final Thoughts On Types of Bees

Three quarters of the plants that produce 90% of the food we eat are pollinated by bees.

That means you, me and everyone we know is alive because of bees!

So, we should all pay, at least, a little attention to the types of bees out there and try to avoid doing bees any harm. 

Because one bite, of every three you take today, is owed to bees!

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