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bees & wasps

Bees vs. Wasps
Image: iStockphoto.com/anobis

Bees vs. Wasps

Sure, they crash picnics. But bees and wasps help make picnics possible ... in different ways. Wasps generally feed on crop-eating insects while bees help pollinate the plants.

They have much in common — not surprising since bees evolved from predatory wasps. Discover how to tell these members of the Hymenoptera order apart.



University of California, Berkeley
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Busy as a Bee

Busy as a Bee

Can you create a garden that bees will love? Plant flowers and design and decorate your own garden — even upgrade with honey. More...

Game
SciGirls/PBS
Carly’s Adventures in Wasp Land

Carly’s Adventures in Wasp Land

Meet Carly Tribull, an entomologist and comic book artist. Hard to believe now, but she was afraid of insects as a child. Check out her work. More...

Profile
AMNH
How Do Bees Make Honey? (It’s Not Just Bee Barf)

How Do Bees Make Honey? (It’s Not Just Bee Barf)

It takes a lot of bees and a lot of work to turn out just a pound of honey. Find out how nectar from flowers is turned into sweet, delicious honey. More...

Article
North Carolina State University
Intimate Portraits of Bees

Intimate Portraits of Bees

Meet the "workhorses of the insect world" in this fantastically detailed collection of photographs. More...

Images
National Geographic
Robotic Bees Take Flight

Robotic Bees Take Flight

Engineers are preparing for the worst. With bee populations in decline, they are designing what may be the future of plant pollination — robotic bees. More...

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TIME Magazine
The Private Life of Plants: Wasp Flowers

The Private Life of Plants: Wasp Flowers

Even flowers can be tricksters. See how these orchids, which look remarkably like female wasps, con male wasps into spreading pollen. More...

Video
BBC
Are Figs Really Full of Baby Wasps?

Are Figs Really Full of Baby Wasps?

Say you're eating Fig Newtons and your friend says, "Ew, gross, don't you know that's full of baby wasps?" You probably think he's just making it up. Or is he? More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
Bee Haven

Bee Haven

The SciGirls use math, mapping, and data visualization to track a bee colony and what helps them thrive. More...

Video
SciGirls/PBS
Bees’ Navigation System

Bees’ Navigation System

Honeybees do a lot of traveling to pick up nectar and bring it back to the hive. How do they know where they're going? Find out more about bees' excellent navigation skills. More...

Video
HowStuffWorks
Flower Power

Flower Power

We know that some flowers use their color and their smell to attract would-be pollinators. But now there's evidence they may also use an electric charge. Shocking! More...

Article
Science News for Students
How Bees Can See the Invisible

How Bees Can See the Invisible

See a flower as a bee sees it. Flowers attract bees to their nectar and pollen by showing them things they don't show us. More...

Video
It's Okay to Be Smart/PBS
Hymenoptera: Ants, Wasps, Bees, Sawflies, Horntails

Hymenoptera: Ants, Wasps, Bees, Sawflies, Horntails

More than 100,000 species belong to belong to the insect order Hymenoptera, with more being discovered all the time. Many are very social, living in large colonies with distinct divisions of labor. More...

Article
NC State University
Japanese Honeybees Surround Predators in a ‘Hot Bee Ball’

Japanese Honeybees Surround Predators in a ‘Hot Bee Ball’

Japanese honeybees have a unique way of dealing with Asian green hornets — one of their biggest predators. They literally "cook" the hornet to death. More...

Article
Popular Science
Nests of Bees, Ants, and Wasps

Nests of Bees, Ants, and Wasps

Birds don’t have a monopoly on nest building. Check out this gallery of amazing nests fashioned by bees, ants, and wasps. Mouse over the images to see the architects’ names. More...

Images
Encyclopedia of Life
Parasitic Wasps and Aphids

Parasitic Wasps and Aphids

Wasps have an insidious plan for aphids, injecting them with eggs that grow in their bodies, killing them from the inside out. More...

Video
National Geographic
The Latest Buzz on Honeybee Colony Collapse

The Latest Buzz on Honeybee Colony Collapse

Honeybees are essential to pollinating all kinds of crops, from fruit to nuts. But in recent years bee colonies have been collapsing, and scientists need to find out why. More...

Video
PBS NewsHour
The Ultimate Bee Quiz

The Ultimate Bee Quiz

Think you know all there is to know about the magnificent bee? Get the buzz on bees with this quiz full of fun facts and trivia. More...

Interactive
Discovery
The Wasp that Walks Cockroaches

The Wasp that Walks Cockroaches

We are not making this up! The female jewel wasp injects venom into a cockroach’s brain, creating a zombie she can lead around by the antennas to do her bidding. And that’s only half of the story…. More...

Article
National Geographic
Wasp (Hymenoptera)

Wasp (Hymenoptera)

They come in nearly every color you can imagine. They rarely sting. And they feed on nearly every pest insect on Earth. Explore the 30,000 species of wasps. More...

Article
National Geographic
What Is It About Bees and Hexagons?

What Is It About Bees and Hexagons?

Not rectangles, squares, or triangles — bees always use hexagons to build honeycombs. And not just any hexagons, but perfect ones. Why is that? More...

Article
NPR

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