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Tiny Bee... Stingless?

 
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AdamBees
New Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Location: St Albans, Hertz

PostPosted: Tue Jun 20, 2017 10:15 am    Post subject: Tiny Bee... Stingless? Reply with quote

I've signed up for the forum because I'm curious about what I saw.

I live in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, UK.

In my front garden, working the wildflowers I leave there, was a very tiny bee. It could fit in a box probably 2.5 mm x 5mm (roughly). It was clearly a bee, not a fly and had pollen packets on her rear legs - but it was tiny!

Basic googling says that tiny bees that look like honeys are "stingless" bees. However, the same googling says that these bees are only in "warmer" climates and suggest Africa and Mexico.

Does anyone have a clue what this might have been? Or has climate change increased the range of these bees into the UK?

TIA, Adam
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catchercradle
Golden Bee


Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 1495
Location: Cambridge, UK

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 8:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We have over 200 species of solitary bee in the UK. With a few exceptions the only ways of identifying them for certain are dna testing (don't know if database is complete on this) or using a key and doing some microscopy. Getting it down to genus is not too difficult but the exact species can take a lot longer. The size probably helps narrow it down a bit. Just been looking and not finding a key on-line. (Doesn't mean there isn't one, just that if there is it needs better searching techniques or more time than I have given it.
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AdamBees
New Bee


Joined: 20 Jun 2017
Posts: 2
Location: St Albans, Hertz

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah - solitary bees...

Found this:
http: //www .wildlifetrusts. org/reserves-wildlife/guide-solitary-bees-britain

Interesting.

This was a one time occurrence. I've never seen such a tiny bee before or since. Sadly we get mostly bumbles around the neighborhood. Honeys are rare.

I don't keep, tho' I've taken a basic course, due to time and the lack of space in the neighborhood. My garden is but 16' x 20', so no real place to put a hive.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1582
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't be sad about having bumble bees.... any and all bees are a good thing.

Also don't be put off by the size of your garden. I currently have 9 colonies within 15 feet of my back door.... OK I do have a much larger garden but chose to keep them close to the house so that I can see them and check on their progress every time I open the door..... like now when I am on swarm watch.... as I have a hive ready to swarm, almost certainly today. Many people keep bees in small back gardens or yards.

Making habitat for other bees like bumble bees and solitary bees is also a very worthwhile project, if you really don't feel comfortable keeping honey bees on your property. They are all fascinating to watch.

Regards

Barbara
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AndyC
Scout Bee


Joined: 04 Jul 2014
Posts: 304
Location: Uk/Horsham/RH13

PostPosted: Wed Jun 21, 2017 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It often surprises me how different the sizes of apis bees can be.

In my apiary I have one colony that are big and stripey and I mean BIG and in another they are tiny in comparison and almost entirely black.

We have the same up at the club apiary with one colony in particular that even the local inspector commented on how small they were.

Doesn't seem to affect their ability to raise brood and lay down honey though.

Vive la difference. Smile
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