Logo of nature.ca - Canadian Museum of Nature.
Logo of Natural History Notebooks.
 
Button: Home. Button: Resources. Button: Notebooks A-Z.
Button: Français.
Home > Invertebrates > Bees Next
Text: Invertebrates.
   
Bees
Photo: A Bee, Apiidae (family/famille).
A bee, Apiidae (family/famille)
More Images »

Where are they found? AfricaAsiaAustraliaEuropeGreenlandNorth AmericaOceaniaSouth America

Map of the world.


Bees belong to the third-largest insect order, Hymenoptera, which also includes wasps and ants. Together, these creatures pollinate plants including many crops, turn over the soil more effectively than earthworms, and, in the case of the honey bee, furnish food in the form of honey. Even more importantly, some members of this order prey on other insects— the single most-important factor in keeping the Earth's insect population in check.

The bee's eyes, like those of other insects, differ greatly from human eyes. They consist of a pair of compound eyes made up of numerous six-sided facets. They also have three simple eyes. Despite this, their vision is believed to be sharp for a distance of only about 1 m (3 ft.).

Bees, however, are capable of seeing ultraviolet light, which is invisible to humans. The bee is capable of navigating by ultraviolet light, which even penetrates cloud cover. Honey bees (Apis mellifera) also use the sun as a reference point to communicate to other bees the angle of flight to be followed to arrive at newly discovered nectar-bearing flowers.

Bees occur on all continents except Antarctica. They are most frequent in hot, arid habitats. There are about 3500 species of bees in North America.


More Images
Photo: A Bee, Apiidae (family/famille). Photo: Bees, Apiidae (family/famille). Photo: A Bee, Lasioglossum. Photo: A Bee, Apiidae (family/famille). Photo: Bees, Apiidae (family/famille). Photo: A Bee, Apiidae (family/famille). Photo: A Bee, Apiidae (family/famille).


Looking for photos?

The Canadian Museum of Nature has thousands of unique images reflecting the diversity of the natural world—including the photos and illustrations here in our Natural History NotebooksContact us to learn more!


To cite this page for personal use:
“Bees”. [Online]. Natural History Notebooks. Canadian Museum of Nature.
Last updated (Web site consulted

Previous
Button: Mammals. Photo: Lion (Panthera leo). Button: Birds. Photo: Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos).
Button: Fish. Photo: Brown trout (Salmo trutta). Button: Reptiles. Photo: Komodo dragon (Varanus komodensis).
Button: Amphibians. Photo: Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeiana). Button: Invertebrates. Photo: House fly (Musca domestica).
Button: Dinosaurs. Illustration: Tyrannosaurus rex. Archive slide: S71-116. Button: Prehistoric. Illustration: Muskox (Ovibos moschatus).
Button: Navigate the World. Illustration: Map of the world.
 
Text: This way to more photos of aquatic invertebrates. Photo: Head of a damselfly nymph of the genus Enallagma.

Reproduction Rights    Credits    Explore Nature!    Comments or Questions?

Next Previous Next Previous