Varieties of native bees

    When you mention bees to most people, images of golden-yellow honey bees come to mind. However, there is a lot more to bees than the honey bee. In fact, there are over 20,000 bee species worldwide and around 500 species of bees native to Illinois.
    While honey bees live in colonies that can reach 60,000 individuals and bumble bees live in colonies that can reach 400 individuals, most of our native bees (90%) are solitary bees. Unlike honey and bumble bees that have a division of labor where a queen lays eggs and her offspring perform jobs such as caring for young, foraging, etc., female solitary bees do all of those jobs by themselves.  


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