You’re not alone if you think black bees only come in one variety. Most people believe all black bees are the same, but this isn’t the case!
At least 20 different types of black bees have been identified by the researchers who study them and their impact on the ecosystems around them.
If you’re interested in learning more about these unique creatures, read on for more information about 20 types of black bees you might not know about.
1. Southern Carpenter Bee
The Southern Carpenter Bee is a giant bee that can be found in the southern United States. It has a shiny, greenish-black or black body with yellow markings on its abdomen and thorax.
It gets its name from its nesting habits, similar to the carpenter ant. These types of black bees drill into tree trunks and other wooden surfaces to create nesting tunnels as long as two inches in length, leaving behind sawdust and bits of wood shavings in their wake.
2. Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee
Carpenter-Mimic Leafcutter Bee: Carpenter-mimic leafcutter bees are a type of black bee that uses the shape and coloration of giant carpenter ants to get closer to their food sources.
There are very few records on the species in North America, but they are common in Africa and Australia. They do not mimic leafcutter ants but use their coloration as camouflage while gathering nectar.
In addition to being mimics, these bees can also be parasitic – laying eggs inside another type of insect’s nest.
Acarapis woodi are types of black bees found in California and New Zealand. They feed primarily on flowers that produce nectar all year long, like acacias.
3. Two-Spotted Longhorn Bee
The two-spotted longhorn bee is a black bee found in the eastern part of North America, including the Appalachian Mountains.
The two-spotted longhorn bee has been observed to be an effective pollinator and only visits flowers for short periods, which helps the species avoid predators.
While these bees are not endangered, they have a limited range and may be threatened by climate change. It’s essential to take care of your local bees and ensure they have enough natural food sources to survive.
4. Western Carpenter
Western Carpenter bees are one type of black bee. These bees nest in tree cavities and use wood to create their homes. It is common to find these types of bees nesting in rafters, siding, or window trim on houses.
They are very docile and more likely to sting if they feel threatened than most other types of black bees.
Unlike many different types, this type does not swarm but has a single queen that lays eggs continuously during the year.
This means Western Carpenter bees can be maintained as indoor pets without cramming concerns.
5. Hawthorn Mining Bee
Hawthorn Mining Bees are one of the 20 types of black bees you might not know about. They are found primarily in the Eastern United States, from New York to Florida, and live in various habitats such as caves, mines, and tunnels.
These leafcutter bees pollinate flowers by collecting pollen with their mandibles (or jaws) and carrying it back to their nest or mining area on leaves.
These insects provide valuable pollination services to plants in their habitat. But they also face threats from human activity, including the overuse of pesticides, which can harm these essential pollinators.
6. Spring Beauty Miner
According to National Geographic, the Spring Beauty Miner is a type of black bee that lives in the United States.
It’s often found near forested areas, and its habitat includes meadows, hillsides, open fields, and wetland edges.
The Spring Beauty Miner is dark brown with a yellow-gold patch on its back. It’s also among the earliest bees to emerge in the springtime because it must prepare for the mating season before other types of bees start appearing.
7. Nimble Ceratina
Nimble Ceratina, also known as the Nimble Cuckoo Bee, is one of the most common types of black bees. They are typically found in colder climates, such as northern Europe and Canada.
The nectar they collect is used to feed their offspring during winter months, and it’s stored within wax cells they build inside their colonies.
The nimble cuckoo bee feeds on various plants that grow near water. These include flowers like willows, poplars, cranberries, and blueberries.
It was named after its shape, which resembles the long-necked American bird – a cuckoo. It is believed that these types of black bees take care of other smaller insects that can’t defend themselves against predators.
8. Dieunomia Heteropoda
Dieunomia Heteropoda is one of the rarest types of black bees, and they have been known to be found in South America.
They are also not very aggressive, so they are unlikely to sting. This type is sometimes called the ‘Leathery Winged Bee.
Dieunomia Heteropoda can be found in South America and will only sting if provoked. These bees are sometimes referred to as ‘Leathery Winged Bees. People might not know about over 20 types of black bees.
9. Osmia Chalybea
Osmia chalybea are types of black bees that are usually found on the west coast. They are typically solitary and can produce up to 1,000 offspring per day. Unlike other bees, Osmia Chalybea does not use wax to build its nests.
Instead, they build cells from chewed plant materials like leaves and petals. Osmia chalybea is also known as leafcutter bees because they chew plant material into thin strips and arrange them to form cells before laying eggs.
Once the eggs hatch, the larvae will continue feeding on stored pollen from earlier days until it’s time for pupation.
After emerging as adults, Osmia Chalybea will feed on nectar for about two weeks before starting another life cycle as an adult bee.
10. Pacific Digger Bee
The Pacific Digger Bee (Melissodes agilis) is a member of the family Melittidae and is found in the Pacific Coast region. These are one types of black bees that people might not know about.
They are most active during the late spring, summer, and early fall but are not often seen because they spend most of their time digging holes in the ground to create nests for their young.
The nests that these bees dig can be found on hillsides or near stream beds.
11. Bristle Sweat Bee
Bristle Sweat Bees, also known as Trigona, are types of black bees that can be found in many different parts of the world.
Humans have used them for centuries, and they are still heavily utilized today. There are many kinds of Bristle Sweat Bees, which differ in size and where they live.
Bristle Sweat Bees produce honey and beeswax, which we use to make candles or other products. The bees will feed on the nectar from flowers before collecting it into their crops so that they can chew it up with their saliva to turn it into honey.
After that, the bee will carry it back to its nest, where it is stored in a honey stomach container until needed.
12. Cherry Plum Mining Bee
The Cherry Plum Mining Bees are types of black bees that are solitary nesters. The female constructs her nest from mud and chews on plant stems to produce a pointed material which she then mixes with her saliva to form the nest.
She then gathers pollen and nectar for food for the larvae in the nest. The Cherry Plum Mining Bee is named after its long mandibles, which give it a plump appearance and cherry-red coloration.
13. Georgia Mason Bee
Georgia Mason Bee is one of the most common types of black bees. This type of bee is also known as a honeybee because it collects nectar from flowers and pollutes plants.
They are considered one of the essential types of bees in America because they pollinate about two-thirds (2/3) or about 80% (80%) of all flowering crops in the U.S.
The pollen they collect on their fuzzy bodies is transferred to other plants, which helps them reproduce by spreading their pollen to other plants in their vicinity.
Georgia Mason Bee can be found in northeastern North America, southeastern Canada, and parts of Europe.
14. Frigid Mining Bee
The frigid mining bee is also known as the Alaskan bee. They are types of black bees that can be found in Alaska, and they are the only type of black bee that can survive during the winter.
They use their long tongue to collect nectar from flowers while stuck in the ice.
They then store this nectar in their honey stomach, which helps them survive and provides nourishment for their larvae and pupae.
To keep themselves warm, they will curl up and form a ball around themselves with their legs tucked under them to have air between all the layers of their body.
15. Brown-Fovea Miner
Brown-Fovea Miners are one types of black bees that lives in the Southwest region. Brown-Fovea Miners nest underground, and their nests are made of soil.
They are considered solitary bees because they do not live in colonies with other types of bees.
Female brown-fovea miners create a tunnel and lay eggs in cells that have nectar and pollen for food to feed the larvae until it becomes adult brown-fovea miner. A female brown-fovea miner can produce from 200 to 300 eggs per year.
Brown-Fovea Miners mostly eat mesquite beans but will also eat other types of plants, including cactus flowers and tree sap.
16. Beebalm Shortface
Beebalm Shortface bees are a cross between the Western honeybee and the alfalfa leafcutter bee. This hybridization can create an exciting mix of traits, and Beebalm Shortface bees are no exception.
They are known to have short faces due to their Western honeybee ancestry, while they also have a single abdominal segment, which is owed to their leafcutter bee roots.
In addition to these attributes, Beebalm Shortface bees have several other qualities that make them unique. Like many different types of black bees, they live in colonies and collect nectar from flowers.
17. Violet Carpenter Bee
There are more than 20 types of black bees, and the most well-known is the honeybee. However, many lesser-known types, such as the violet carpenter bee (Xylocopa violacea), can be found in North America.
The violet carpenter bee produces propolis, which is used to seal cracks and gaps in their nests. This helps protect against predators from outside as well as mold from within.
In addition to using propolis for nest sealing, these types of black bees also use it to construct other parts of their nests.
Carpenter bees don’t collect pollen but instead eat wood or plant resins.
18. Blue Orchard Bee
Blue Orchard Bee (Osmia lignaria) is also known as the blueberry bee or the blue orchard bee. Native to North America, this species was first discovered in 1818 and was named after William Hamilton’s New York estate, Blue Orchard.
The Blue Orchard Bee gets its name because it prefers to pollinate plants like blueberries, although it can also be seen visiting other types of flowers.
These bees have an annual lifespan and are not considered migratory. They are primarily active during daylight hours but will occasionally work at night if there is a full moon.
Blue orchard bees use their tongues to collect pollen and store it in pouches on their hind legs before transferring it to the next flower they visit.
19. Paulista Bumble Bee
The Paulista Bumble Bee is one of the twenty types of black bees that have been identified. It is a member of the Bombus genus and is endemic to Brazil.
The Paulista Bumble Bee’s behavior is similar to other species in this genus, but its orange-yellow striped abdomen is a differentiating characteristic from these species.
It produces honey, pollinates flowers for their nectar, and feeds on plant pollen. The Paulista Bumble Bee is also active during winter when temperatures reach below 12 degrees Celsius.
Unlike other types of black bees, they cannot live in cold climates because they rely heavily on insect food sources.
Due to climate change and environmental stressors, the Paulista Bumble Bee population is dwindling at an alarming rate.
20. Spiny-Legged Stingless Bee
This type of bee lives in the rainforest and is not aggressive. It has a very long tongue to gather nectar from flowers. The Spiny-Legged Stingless Bee is the long-tongued honeybee or just honeybee.
They are non-aggressive, have a long tongue, live in the rainforest, and are found mainly on the eastern side of Australia. There are only about 20 types of black bees we know about!
The types of black bees you should know about are as follows: carpenter bees, bumblebees, honeybees, wasps, cuckoo bees, sweat bees, and digger bees.
Carpenter bees are a type that can be found in North America.
These types of black bees build nests from wood to live in and make tunnels or holes to store the honey they produce.
Bumblebees are another type that can be found in North America. These types of black bees tend to make large colonies with many queens because they have a low number of males.
Honeybees are yet another type that you might not know about, but these types of black bees live all over the world and produce honey for humans to use.