Meet our prime pollinators

Bees do far more than just make honey. Globally, the 25,000 or so bee species play a crucial part in crop production and in promoting biodiversity.

TYPES OF BEE

The honeybee (Apis mellifera) is the most widely studied bee, yet the approximately 10 species of honeybee comprise less than 0.05% of all known bee species.

BIOLOGY

Bees, a major group in the order Hymenoptera, evolved from wasps and have adapted to take advantage of the energy available from feeding on pollen and nectar.

DISTRIBUTION

Six global hotspots, all of which have a Mediterranean-style climate, are home to the greatest variety of bee species.

Credit: MAP SOURCE: M KUHLMANN/NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM, LONDON

BEE LIFE STORY

The domesticated honeybee is the archetypal bee. Here, we outline the honeybee’s life and highlight some other species of wild bee.

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Gould, J. Meet our prime pollinators. Nature 521, S48–S49 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/521S48a

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