Pest and Beneficials Search (search again)

Bees and bumble bees

Hymenoptera: Apidae

Principal species are honey bees and bumble bees. Bumble bees, e.g. Bombus sp. (A) have a robust black body covered with hair of variable colors (yellow, orange, black, and white). Honey bees, e.g. Apis mellifera L. (B) are more delicate; they are golden brown with yellow rings on the abdomen, and have a hairy body.


Pollinator insects.

Similar Species

The bees can be confused with some wasps, but the latter are darker and are not covered with hair. Carpenter bees may be mistaken for bumble bees, but the former have the dorsum of the abdomen largely bare.

Note: Other families of bees are commonly found (Megachilidae, leafcutting bees; Halictidae and Andrenidae; Colletidae, plasterer bees; Anthophoridae, digger bees, etc.). They are distinguished by their smaller size and fewer hairs. Many are extremely efficient pollinators.

Note: These Hymenopterans are very sensitive to insecticides, particularly those having broad-spectrum efficacy.

Pest and Beneficials Search (search again)

The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.