Bees are one of the most important insects for our planet’s food production, as they are responsible for pollination of many agricultural crops. With the increasing awareness about the importance of bees, it is important to understand the various types of bees that can be found in the Province of Ontario, Canada.
The five types of Bees in Ontario includes, Bumble Bees, Honey Bees, Leafcutter Bees, Mason Bees and Sweat Bees.
5 Types Of Bees In Ontario
1. Bumble Bees
Starting off the types of Bees in Ontario is the Bumble Bees. Bumble Bees are one of the most beneficial insects in Ontario, providing essential pollination services to many flowering plants and crops. There are over 50 species of bumble bees found in Ontario, making up a large portion of the bee diversity in the province.
Bumble bees are larger than honey bees and they are generally hairy. They come in a variety of colors, including black, yellow, orange, red, and white. There are four main types of bumble bee found in Ontario: the buff-tailed bumble bee (Bombus terrestris), the white-tailed bumble bee (Bombus lucorum), the garden bumble bee (Bombus hortorum), and the common carder bumble bee (Bombus pascuorum).
The buff-tailed bumble bee is one of the most common species in Ontario and is easily recognizable by its yellow-orange head and black thorax and abdomen. This species is found in both urban and rural areas, often nesting in abandoned rodent burrows or in piles of leaves or grass.
The white-tailed bumble bee is slightly smaller than the buff-tailed bumble bee and has a yellow head and a white tail. This species is mainly found in agricultural areas, as it is an important pollinator of some crops such as clover and alfalfa.
The garden bumble bee is the smallest of the four species and is easily identified by its yellow head and black and yellow striped thorax. This species is mainly found in gardens and parks, where it is an important pollinator of flowering plants.
The common carder bumble bee is the largest of the four species and is easily identified by its yellow head and black and white striped thorax. This species is found in both urban and rural areas, often nesting in abandoned rodent burrows or in piles of leaves or grass.
In addition to these four species, there are many other species of bumble bees in Ontario, including the large-headed bumble bee (Bombus fervidus), the short-haired bumble bee (Bombus subterraneus), and the small-headed bumble bee (Bombus cryptarum). All of these species play an important role in pollinating crops and wild plants in the province.
2. Honey Bees
Honey bees are a type of bee found in Ontario, Canada. They are social insects that live together in large colonies and are important pollinators of plants, providing essential ecosystem services. Honey bees are typically divided into three types: Apis mellifera, Apis cerana and Apis florea.
Apis mellifera is the species of honey bee found in Ontario. This species is also known as the European honey bee and is believed to have been introduced to Ontario in the early 1800s. These bees typically build large colonies of up to 80,000 bees and are the most common species of bee found in Ontario. They are typically found in areas with plenty of flowers to pollinate.
Apis cerana is a species of honey bee found in Asia and is considered the original honey bee. This species is smaller than Apis mellifera and is known to form smaller colonies of up to 20,000 bees. This species is not commonly found in Ontario as it is not well adapted to the cold climate.
Apis florea is another species of honey bee found in Asia and Africa. These bees are smaller than Apis mellifera and Apis cerana and form colonies of up to 5,000 bees. This species is not commonly found in Ontario as it is not well adapted to the cold climate.
In addition to these three types of honey bees, there are also other species and subspecies of bees found in Ontario. These include bumblebees, solitary bees, and some species of wild bees. All of these species of bee play an important role in pollinating plants and providing essential ecosystem services.
3. Leafcutter Bees
Leafcutter bees (Megachile spp.) are solitary bees, meaning they do not live in colonies and each female builds her own nest. Leafcutter bees are native to Ontario, and their populations have been declining in recent years due to habitat destruction and pesticide use.
Leafcutter bees can be found throughout Ontario, with the largest populations in southern Ontario in open and semi-open habitats such as meadows, pastures, and gardens. They are medium-sized, black or brown bees that measure between 8-20 mm in length. Leafcutter bees have a distinctively shaped head with large eyes and a long tongue.
Leafcutter bees are best known for their unique nesting habits. Female leafcutter bees build their nests in pre-existing cavities such as hollow reeds or wood. To construct their nests, the female bee will cut out circles from leaves which she then uses to line the nest and create cells for her eggs. Leafcutter bees are important pollinators of a variety of flowering plants and have a mutualistic relationship with certain species of fungi which they use to feed their larvae.
In Ontario, there are several species of leafcutter bees, including Megachile campanulae, Megachile similis, and Megachile rotundata. These species are all important pollinators and can be found in a variety of habitats. With proper habitat management and conservation efforts, it is possible to help protect and restore populations of these important bees in Ontario.
4. Mason Bees
Mason Bees are also solitary bees, meaning that they do not live in large colonies like honeybees or bumblebees. Instead, they nest and forage on their own. Mason Bees are small, usually between 6-16mm in length, and are often a metallic blue or green colour with black bands. They are important pollinators in Ontario and can be found in gardens and fields.
Mason Bees are native to Ontario and can be found in a variety of habitats including urban and suburban areas. They are attracted to flowers and are important pollinators for many different crops, including apples, strawberries, blueberries, and tomatoes.
There are several different species of Mason Bees found in Ontario, including the Osmia lignaria (blue orchard bee), Osmia cornifrons (hornfaced bee), and Osmia ribifloris (red mason bee). All of these species are docile and non-aggressive and are important to the natural environment.
Mason Bees are relatively easy to attract to your garden or yard through the use of bee houses or nesting blocks. These can be purchased or built at home, and should be placed in an area that is sheltered from the wind and receives 6-8 hours of sunlight per day. To further attract Mason Bees, plant a variety of flowers that bloom at different times throughout the season. This will provide them with a steady supply of nectar and pollen.
Mason Bees are an important part of Ontario’s natural ecosystem and are a great way to help support pollination and local biodiversity. By providing them with nesting sites and food sources, you can encourage their numbers to increase and help them thrive in the area.
5. Sweat Bees
Sweat bees are small, usually between 3-10mm in length and are usually black or metallic in color. They are of the family Halictidae, which contains over 2000 different species of bees.
Sweat bees get their name from their habit of drinking the sweat of animals, including humans. Sweat bees are not aggressive and rarely sting, but they can be annoying if they become too numerous.
Sweat bees are native to Ontario and can be found throughout the province. They are most commonly found in fields, gardens, and open areas near trees and shrubs. They are also attracted to areas with flowers and exposed soil.
Sweat bees are pollen and nectar feeders and are important pollinators of many plants. They are active during the day and can sometimes be seen hovering around flowers. Females can be seen collecting pollen and nectar on their hind legs, which have a special brush-like structure for collecting the pollen.
Sweat bees are solitary bees, meaning that they do not live in colonies like honeybees. Females build small nests in the ground, usually in sandy soils or in wood piles, and lay eggs in the cells. The larvae feed on the pollen and nectar in the cells until they emerge as adults.
Sweat bees are beneficial to the environment and important pollinators of many plants. They are also important food sources for other insects and animals, such as birds and spiders.
There are many types of bees in Ontario, but the most common are the honey bee, bumble bee, and solitary bee. The honey bee is the most widely distributed and important bee species in Ontario, as they are responsible for pollinating many agricultural crops. Bumble bees are also important pollinators, but they are less common in Ontario and are less efficient pollinators than the honey bee.
The solitary bee is the most diverse species of bee in Ontario, with over 400 species, and they are important pollinators of wild plants and flowers. All of these bee species are important to the ecosystem in Ontario and are essential in maintaining healthy populations of plants and flowers.
Bees are essential for the healthy functioning of the ecosystem in Ontario, as they are responsible for pollinating many plants and flowers. The most common types of bees in Ontario are the honey bee, bumble bee, and solitary bee.
Each of these species of bees are important in their own right and are essential to maintaining healthy populations of plants and flowers in the Province. Understanding the different types of bees found in Ontario can help us to better understand their importance in the ecosystem and how we can help to protect them.