When it comes to bees, most people have only one thing in mind — honeybees (Apis mellifera).
Honeybees are responsible for most of the world’s pollination and are arguably the most well-known types of bees in Texas.
However, many other types of bees in Texas can benefit your garden and your wallet! Here’s what you need to know about the main types of bees in Texas – bumblebees, carpenter bees, and mason bees – with some examples of each one.
1. Eastern Carpenter Bee
The Eastern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica) is a common species of large bee found throughout much of the eastern United States.
These types of bees in Texas, which belong to the family Apidae, are characterized by their black and yellow coloring and glossy bodies.
The Eastern Carpenter Bee gets its name from its tendency to create nests in wood, such as the sides of houses and trees.
While they are not as social as other types of bees in Texas, they do live in small colonies of up to three dozen bees.
Like many bees, the Eastern Carpenter Bee feeds on nectar and pollen from flowers and is an important pollinator.
This species is particularly important for wildflowers, helping to spread their pollen further than other bees. They also provide essential pollination for fruit trees and vegetable gardens.
The Eastern Carpenter Bee does have some drawbacks, however. They are more aggressive than other species of bees and may become a nuisance if they set up shop in your backyard.
They also have a tendency to chew holes in wood and can cause serious damage if left unchecked.
Fortunately, they are easily deterred with certain strategies, such as painting the wood or providing alternative nesting sites.
Overall, the Eastern Carpenter Bee is an important species in Texas that deserves respect.
They provide essential pollination services for both wildflowers and domestic gardens alike but must be handled carefully due to their tendency to chew through wood. With proper prevention and respect, these bees can coexist peacefully with humans.
2. American Bumble Bee
The American Bumble Bee (Bombus pensylvanicus) is a species of bumblebee found in Texas and other parts of North America.
These particular types of bees in Texas have a striking appearance, with large, furry black-and-yellow bodies and yellow-tipped antennae.
Bumble bees tend to nest in areas of grass or soil, creating small clusters of cells within which they store pollen.
American Bumble Bees are known to be more aggressive than other species, so it is best to leave them alone unless you are looking to observe them in their natural environment.
Despite their sometimes-aggressive behavior, American Bumble Bees are an essential part of the ecosystem, helping to ensure the continued health of our natural world.
So if you spot one buzzing around your backyard, give it some space and appreciate its beauty from afar!
3. Western Honey Bee
Texas is home to many bee species, including both beneficial and detrimental varieties. From the friendly honeybee to the less-than-welcome carpenter bee, here is an overview of the types of bees in Texas that you might encounter in the Lone Star State.
Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) are one of them. They are also known as European honey bees. They are distributed throughout the world.
4. Southern Carpenter Bee
The Southern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa micans) is one of the most common types of bees in Texas. It is a solitary bee species, meaning it lives alone and has no social hierarchy.
The Southern Carpenter Bee can be identified by its large size, metallic black coloring, and distinctive yellow marking on its thorax.
Moving on, they are known to feed on various nectar sources, including the pollen of Texas wildflowers and flowering shrubs.
The Southern Carpenter Bee builds its nests by excavating holes in wood and soft material like logs, tree stumps, and dead branches. These bees prefer to build their homes in decaying or naturally hollow trees.
They do not use any kind of wax or resin to seal their tunnels, as honeybees do. Instead, they rely on the tight fit of their construction to provide shelter.
The Southern Carpenter Bee plays an important role in the Texas ecosystem by pollinating plants and providing a source of food for other animals.
In addition to nectar, they also feed on pollen, which helps them maintain their health.
While their presence may be unwelcome in some areas, such as near human dwellings, they should generally be considered beneficial to the environment and not treated as pests.
5. Ligated Furrow Bee
The Ligated Furrow Bee (Halictus ligatus) is also one of the most common types of bees in Texas. Native to the state, this bee is an important pollinator of many of the plants and flowers found in the area.
The Ligated Furrow Bee is a solitary bee that does not form colonies or hives like other bee species.
This bee has a distinct brown-and-black striped abdomen, and its wings are adorned with yellow and black stripes. Its head is black, and its thorax is yellow and black.
The Ligated Furrow Bee also has longer legs than other bees, allowing them to move quickly from flower to flower.
These bees typically nest in shallow burrows in the ground or in hollowed-out twigs or stems of plants. These bees feed on nectar and pollen from a variety of different flowers, including asters, daisies, sunflowers, and thistles.
The Ligated Furrow Bee is an important pollinator for many plants in Texas, as it helps to ensure that plants have the necessary pollen to fertilize and create new flowers and fruits.
It is also essential to the local ecosystem because it helps keep insect populations in check by consuming other insects that could otherwise damage crops.
If you spot a Ligated Furrow Bee while out and about in Texas, be sure to admire it from a distance! These specific types of bees in Texas are valuable pollinators and should be treated with respect.
6. Horse-Fly Carpenter
Texas is home to many different species of bees, including the Horse-Fly Carpenter (Xylocopa tabaniformis).
These bees are native to the state and can be found in areas such as grasslands, pastures, and even gardens.
Horse-Fly Carpenters are large, robust bees that have short, yellow-brown colored bodies with black stripes running along the side.
They have long antennae and short legs, which help them move quickly from flower to flower. Their transparent wings allow them to fly at higher speeds than other bees.
These types of bees in Texas play an important role in the ecosystem by helping to pollinate plants. This helps to ensure a healthy food supply for animals and humans alike.
Additionally, they provide a food source for other insects and animals, such as spiders and birds.
It’s important to remember that while Horse-Fly Carpenters are beneficial, they can also be aggressive when threatened.
Therefore, if you do encounter one of these bees, it’s best to leave them alone and not disturb their nest or try to handle them.
By understanding the types of bees in Texas, we can better appreciate their importance to the environment and our own well-being.
7. Sonoran Bumble Bee
The Sonoran Bumble Bee (Bombus sonorus) is a type of bee native to Texas. This bee is among the largest bees found in the state and has a distinctive yellow and black color pattern.
This bee species is important for its role in pollination, especially for wildflower pollination in the state’s western regions.
The Sonoran Bumble Bee is one of the most widespread types of bees in Texas, inhabiting habitats from the deserts of West Texas to the woodlands of East Texas.
The bee is active from April to August when it builds its colonies and provides pollination services for many plants.
In addition, it can be seen throughout the year as a solitary bee, visiting flowers and collecting pollen.
Though they are not considered a pest, they can sometimes become aggressive when disturbed or if their nests are disturbed.
It is advised that people not disturb active bumble bee nests as this can lead to defensive behavior.
Overall, the Sonoran Bubble Bee is an important part of Texas’ ecosystem and plays a vital role in pollination. These bees should be appreciated and respected in their habitats.
8. Two-Spotted Longhorn Bee
The Two-Spotted Longhorn Bee (Melissodes bimaculata) is one of the most common types of bees in Texas. These bees are easily identified by their black and white stripes, which run along their bodies and their wings.
They are typically solitary creatures and can be found hovering around flowers or nesting in dry, exposed soil.
Two-Spotted Longhorn Bees feed primarily on pollen and nectar from a variety of different plants, including sunflowers, clover, asters, and other wildflowers.
They also play an important role in pollinating plants and aiding in producing fruits, vegetables, and other crops.
These types of bees in Texas tend to build small nests in dry, exposed soil. These nests consist of a few cells that are made of a wax and clay mixture.
The female Two-Spotted Longhorn Bee will lay her eggs in these cells and then seal them off before moving on to another nest.
The Two-Spotted Longhorn Bee is an important part of the environment in Texas and should be protected and respected.
If you see one buzzing around your garden, give it a safe distance so it can continue to do its important work.
9. Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee
The Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee, also known as the (Augochloropsis metallica), is one of the many types of bees in Texas. These small and colorful insects are native to the state and can be found across the entire region.
The bee’s body is typically bright yellow, with black stripes running along the abdomen. They are roughly half an inch long and have two distinct epaulettes on their thorax.
The Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee can be found feeding on nectar and pollen from various flowers, but they are particularly fond of members of the sunflower family.
This bee is known for its solitary lifestyle and usually nests in sandy areas or crevices in rock faces. The female Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee will collect materials to construct her nest and then line it with a waxy secretion produced from glands located in her head.
Though these bees can sting, they are generally considered harmless to humans. However, due to their size and coloration, they may be mistaken for other stinging insects, such as yellow jackets or wasps.
For this reason, always be aware of your surroundings when spending time outdoors in Texas.
10. Strand’s Carpenter Bee
Texas is home to many different types of bees, including the Strand’s Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa virginica ssp. strandi).
This bee is a large, black bee with yellow and white markings on its abdomen. It is one of the most common carpenter bees in Texas and is found in almost all parts of the state.
Unlike other carpenter bees, the Strand’s Carpenter Bee does not drill holes in wood to make its nests but instead chews into them. This makes them less destructive than other carpenter bees.
The Strand’s Carpenter Bee is also much less aggressive than other bees in Texas, so it’s not a nuisance to humans.
The Strand’s Carpenter Bee is an important Texas pollinator and helps pollinate many native plants and flowers.
They feed primarily on nectar and pollen from flowering plants and trees. If you see a large black bee with yellow and white markings, chances are it is a Strand’s, Carpenter Bee.
Overall, the Strand’s Carpenter Bee is an important part of the Texas ecosystem and helps to pollinate the plants and flowers in our state.
While they may not be as destructive as other carpenter bees, they are still important and should be appreciated for their role in our environment.
We are far from being done with this list of the different types of bees in Texas; read further!
11. Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee
Texas is home to many types of bees, from the small and beneficial honeybees to the larger, more destructive carpenter bees.
One lesser-known species of bee that is native to Texas is the Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee (Megachile xylocopoides).
This small, solitary bee can often be seen hovering around gardens and flowers in search of pollen and nectar.
The Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee is an important pollinator for many plants and crops, but it can mimic carpenter bees.
It uses its sharp mandibles to cut leaf-like pieces out of plants, which it then uses to line its nesting chambers. The name Carpenter-Mimic derives from this behavior.
Unlike other types of bees in Texas, Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bees are not aggressive and will not sting unless provoked.
They are typically docile and unassuming, and their presence can be a boon to gardeners and farmers alike.
In terms of appearance, the Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee is quite similar to other bees. It has a metallic green head, black eyes, and yellow stripes on its abdomen. Its wings are a deep brown color, and its body measures about one inch long.
Overall, the Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee is an important Texas pollinator and a harmless member of the bee family. As such, it should be appreciated and respected for its valuable environmental contributions.
12. Oblique Longhorn
Regarding the types of bees in Texas, one of the most common species is the Oblique Longhorn (Svastra obliqua).
This species of bee is found throughout much of the state and are known for its dark brown coloration with light yellow stripes on its body.
The Oblique Longhorn is an important pollinator, as they play an important role in pollinating wildflowers and other plants.
They typically nest in hollow logs or small cavities, making them difficult to spot in the wild. They are also fairly social bees, living in large colonies and playing an important role in their local ecosystem.
Regarding how they interact with humans, the Oblique Longhorn is considered a relatively docile bee and rarely stings.
This makes them a great option for those who want to get into beekeeping. Or even for those who simply want to observe the fascinating behavior of these bees in their own backyard.
Overall, the Oblique Longhorn is a great example of how diverse and important bees can be in Texas. Their importance as pollinators and docile nature makes them a great addition to any backyard or garden.
13. Megachile Policaris
Texas is home to an array of unique and fascinating bees, including Megachile Policaris. This small bee is native to Texas and can be found throughout the state. It is a solitary bee, meaning it does not live in colonies like honey bees or bumblebees.
Megachile Policaris typically measure between 7 and 11 millimeters in length. These bees are metallic greenish-blue in color, with white bands running around their abdomens.
The males have longer antennae than the females, which also have white pollen baskets at the tip of their abdomens.
Megachile Policaris bees are important pollinators of both wildflowers and crop plants, such as clover and alfalfa. They are also important predators of pest insects, such as aphids and leafhoppers.
The females dig their nesting chambers in bare or slightly moist soil, providing their nests with food and then laying their eggs.
Megachile Policaris is an important part of the Texas ecosystem and plays a vital role in maintaining healthy populations of both native and cultivated plants.
We should all take the time to appreciate this species of the types of bees in Texas, which helps ensure a thriving environment for us all!
14. Mexican Carpenter Bee
The Mexican Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa Mexicana) is one of the types of bees in Texas and in other parts of North America.
As its name implies, this bee is a carpenter and likes to bore into wood to make its nest. This bee can be identified by its black body and bright yellow markings on the thorax.
Though the Mexican Carpenter Bee is usually harmless and quite docile, it can become aggressive when it feels threatened. It will sting if provoked, though not as aggressively as some of the other types of bees in Texas.
The female bees are responsible for creating the nest and laying eggs. They can create extensive tunnels and chambers within the wood, which can cause extensive damage if left unchecked.
Luckily, there are several steps homeowners can take to help prevent the Mexican Carpenter Bee from nesting near their homes. These include removing potential nesting sites like dead trees and trimming overhanging branches near their homes.
In addition, using bee-repellent sprays and insecticides can help deter these bees from entering your property.
Overall, the Mexican Carpenter Bee is an important part of the ecosystem in Texas. While these bees can sometimes cause damage to wooden structures, they are valuable pollinators and provide a valuable service to the environment.
Taking proactive steps to prevent these bees from nesting near your home is a great way to protect your property. And this is while still allowing these helpful bees to thrive in their natural habitat.
15. Blueberry Mason Bee
One of the types of bees in Texas is the Blueberry Mason Bee (Osmia ribifloris). This bee species is native to North America and can be found in parts of Texas, including the Texas Panhandle.
The Blueberry Mason Bee is a solitary bee that does not form colonies like honeybees.
This bee species gets its name from its habitat – blueberry farms. The Blueberry Mason Bee is an important pollinator of blueberry plants because of its attraction to the flowers of this particular plant.
It also pollutes other plants, such as apple trees, peaches, pears, plums, and cranberries.
The Blueberry Mason Bee has a black body with white stripes and is about 7-9 millimeters long. The female Blueberry Mason Bee will gather pollen on her body and carry it back to her nest for her larvae.
The larvae will feed on the pollen, and when it’s time for them to emerge, they will break out of the nest and fly away.
This bee species is important to the agricultural industry in Texas, as it helps pollinate various crops. As such, it is important to preserve and protect these bees in order to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
16. Valley Carpenter Bee
Texas is home to various bee species, including the Valley Carpenter Bee. This bee is one of the larger types of bees in Texas that is native to the area and can be identified by its black and yellow stripes.
The Valley Carpenter Bee is also known for its distinct loud buzzing sound and its ability to create large nests in wood and other materials.
Furthermore, the Valley Carpenter Bee is considered a beneficial insect because they help with pollination. They feed on the nectar of flowers, which helps spread pollen around the area and increase the production of fruits and vegetables.
Additionally, their larvae feed on wood-boring insects, so they are great at keeping the local insect population in check.
Despite their positive benefits, the Valley Carpenter Bee can be a nuisance if it nests too close to homes or buildings.
They can cause damage to wooden structures if their nesting goes unchecked, so it’s important to keep an eye out for them and remove any nests if necessary.
The best way to prevent Valley Carpenter Bees from nesting near your home is to regularly inspect the outside of your building and repair any damaged wood.
Additionally, you can use chemical repellents to deter them from nesting in the area. If you ever find yourself facing an infestation of Valley Carpenter Bees, don’t hesitate to call in a professional pest control expert to handle the situation.
With their help, you can rest assured that your home or business will remain safe and free from any unwanted guests!
17. Common Eastern Bumble Bee
The Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens) is a species of bumblebee found in the eastern United States, from Maine south to Georgia and west to Illinois.
It is one of the most common types of bees in Texas, where it plays an important role in pollinating wildflowers, trees, shrubs, and cultivated plants.
The Common Eastern Bumble Bee has a yellow-orange head and thorax with a black abdomen. Its body is covered in short hairs that help it collect pollen and nectar and also keep it insulated during colder months.
The worker bees are smaller than the queens and have stripes along their backs, which can range in color from black to red.
When looking for food, the Common Eastern Bumble Bee visits both solitary and social flowers and often displays a wide variety of foraging behavior.
During the winter, the colonies form a cluster that allows the bees to remain warm enough to survive the cold temperatures.
The Common Eastern Bumble Bee is an important part of our Texas ecosystems and helps ensure that we have enough pollinators to keep our food supply healthy. For gardeners and farmers alike, this bee is essential for the success of their crops and plants.
If you see one of these types of bees in Texas buzzing around your garden, it’s definitely a good thing!
18. Brown-Belted Bumble Bee
The Brown-belted Bumble Bee (Bombus griseocollis) is a common species of bee found in Texas. This bee species is about one inch long and has distinct yellow and black stripes on its body. These are usually bordered with brown belts on the top and bottom of the abdomen.
The Brown-belted Bumble Bee is a solitary bee species, meaning that each individual bee lives alone and nests alone.
These particular types of bees in Texas tend to make their nests in small underground cavities such as tunnels or crevices.
In Texas, the Brown-belted Bumble Bee typically collects pollen from spring flowers such as clover, dandelion, and wildflowers. They also collect nectar from flowers, which they use to feed their young.
In addition to providing important pollination services, the Brown-belted Bumble Bee is an important member of the Texas ecosystem.
It is often seen hovering around flower patches during the warmer months. These bees are also important food sources for many other animals, including birds and mammals.
Overall, the Brown-belted Bumble Bee is a key species in Texas and should be protected to ensure its continued presence in the ecosystem.
19. Brown-Winged Striped Sweat Bee
The Brown-Winged Striped Sweat Bee is one of Texas’s most common types of bees. These small, black, and yellow bees have distinctive stripes across their backs and wings, which are often mistaken for wasps.
This type of bee is known for its sweat-sipping behavior, using its long proboscis for drinking human sweat or sugary liquids from flowers.
Brown-Winged Striped Sweat Bees are an important pollinator for many flowers, fruits, and vegetables in the Lone Star State.
They can be seen gathering nectar from a wide range of native plants and visiting gardens in search of food.
Despite being relatively small and non-aggressive, these bees should be left alone if encountered.
If you’re interested in providing a home for these bees in your garden, you can create a bee-friendly habitat by planting various native flowering plants.
20. Flat-Tailed Leaf-Cutter
Texas is home to various bee species, from the honeybee to the flat-tailed leaf-cutter. This blog post will focus on the latter, which is also known as the (Megachile mendica)
Moving on, Flat-tailed leaf-cutters are a type of solitary bee that live in the arid regions of Texas. They get their name from their small, flattened bodies and their habit of cutting pieces of leaves to make their nest.
Unlike other types of bees in Texas, they don’t produce honey but rather collect and store nectar.
Flat-tailed leaf-cutters are essential to the pollination of Texas crops and help promote biodiversity. They are easily recognizable by their metallic green and brown coloring and have a length of around 10mm. They feed primarily on pollen but will also consume nectar and other plant juices.
Despite their size, flat-tailed leaf-cutters play an important role in Texas’ ecology and should be protected. If you happen to come across these tiny creatures, make sure to leave them alone and enjoy the beauty of their presence.
21. Tripartite Sweat Bee
Texas is home to many bee species, including the Tripartite Sweat Bee. This bee is part of the Halictidae family and is generally considered beneficial to native flora and human activities.
The Tripartite Sweat Bee gets its name from its three-part body structure. This bee has a dark brown head, yellow thorax, and black abdomen. It also has reddish-brown antennae, light brown legs, and short hairs that cover its body.
Of the types of bees in Texas, this is an efficient pollinator of native plants and crops. It forages for pollen and nectar from a wide range of flowers, including wildflowers and many cultivated crops.
As a result, it plays an important role in local ecosystems, providing food and habitat for other insects, birds, and animals.
In addition to its ecological benefits, the Tripartite Sweat Bee is also valued by humans. Its honey is delicious and can be used as a topping or ingredient in many recipes. It is also said to have medicinal properties and is sometimes used as a folk remedy.
All in all, the Tripartite Sweat Bee is an important part of the ecosystem in Texas. Its presence provides a valuable service to both humans and nature, making it a welcome member of the local bee community.
22. California Digger Bee
The California Digger Bee (Anthophora California) is a common type of bee found throughout Texas and the Southwest.
This solitary bee species is known for its unique behavior, which includes tunneling deep into the ground to create nests.
The California Digger Bee is not a honeybee but can still benefit local agriculture. They are efficient pollinators and are known to feed on nectar from various plants, including clover and alfalfa.
The bees also play an important role in providing natural pest control, as they feed on destructive insects such as aphids and leafhoppers.
Although the California Digger Bee is generally considered harmless, it can sometimes become aggressive when threatened or disturbed. It’s best to leave them alone if you come across one while out and about in Texas.
Above all, it is not left out of this list of the various types of bees in Texas!
23. Megachile Parallela
Texas is home to many bees, including the Megachile Parallela. This type of bee is solitary and can often be found in urban and suburban areas.
The Megachile Parallela is a metallic green or blue-green color and has a distinctive black line down its back. They are approximately 0.5 inches long and have large compound eyes.
This species of bee is unique because they have no social hierarchy, meaning they live alone and will not sting unless provoked.
In addition, this bee species is essential for pollination and is often found in gardens or wildflower fields. They collect pollen from various plants, including mustard flowers, yarrow, clover, and buckwheat.
The Megachile Parallela also has a unique way of nesting. These bees use leaves from trees and shrubs to construct their nests and typically will lay between one and three eggs at a time.
The Megachile Parallela is a valuable addition to the Texas ecosystem and should be protected in order to ensure its survival.
If you come across one of these types of bees in Texas, it is best to leave it alone and admire its beauty from a distance.
24. Honey-Tailed Striped Sweat Bee
The Honey-Tailed Striped Sweat Bee (Agapostemon melliventris) is a type of bee found in Texas and other parts of the Southwestern United States. This species of bee is relatively small in size and has a distinctive black and yellow striped abdomen.
The name ‘sweat’ comes from the fact that this species tends to be attracted to humans’ sweat, making them one of the more annoying types of bees in Texas.
This type of bee does not produce honey like other bees. However, it does provide an important role in pollination for certain plants.
These bees are typically solitary and do not live in large colonies like other bees. They tend to nest in the ground, so if you find a hole or indentation in your backyard, it may signify their presence.
Though they can be a bit pesky due to their attraction to human sweat, these bees should generally be left alone since they are important pollinators.
So the next time you spot a Honey-Tailed Striped Sweat Bee buzzing around your yard, appreciate its beauty and leave it to its own devices!
25. Texas Striped Sweat
Finally, on this list of the types of bees in Texas, there’s the Texas Striped Sweat Bee (Agapostemon texanus). It is a small, shiny green bee with distinctive stripes on its abdomen, hence its common name.
The Texas Striped Sweat Bee is a solitary bee that can be found in gardens and open fields.
Going further, they prefer to nest in sunny, dry areas such as gravel, sand, and dry soil. The female bees are the ones who excavate their own nesting sites, unlike other species of bees which rely on pre-existing cavities for nesting.
These bees have a wide variety of plant species that they feed from and provide important pollination services.
They particularly enjoy the nectar of daisies, asters, clovers, and mints. They are also an important pollinator for several native Texas wildflowers.
Texas Striped Sweat Bees are considered beneficial to their environment, as they help promote healthy ecosystems through pollination and providing food sources for many other animals.
These bees are not aggressive but may sting if disturbed. Therefore, it is important to handle them cautiously if you come across them in your garden.
Overall, the Texas Striped Sweat Bee is an important part of the Texas ecosystem and should be protected and appreciated. We’ll draw the curtains on the types of bees in Texas here!
There are many different types of bees in Texas, and they can be split into three main categories—the good, the bad, and the ugly.
This guide will teach you more about each of these types of bees in Texas so that you can spot them in your backyard or at your local park.
And also know whether you should start worrying or not!