How Well Do You Know Your Bees?

Which of these insects are bees?

How well do you know your bees?  Most of us have neighbours who think that every wasp, bat, and unicorn that appears in their backyard is one of our pesky honey bees. I guess it’s understandable that people of small thought will swat at every hovering insect while screaming “A Bee, See?” – but that doesn’t have to be you when it comes to flies or ants that mimic various minor species of bees.

The New York Times Science Section has a bee identification quiz for you. It’s fairly easy if you stop and think about each one. Here, at the top of my blog page, is the picture from NYT, but you’ll have to go there to participate.  Click on each bee image and then click the DONE link that will appear while you’re making your selections.

Here’s what you should see as soon as you complete this little bee quiz:

After you complete and submit the quiz, an article about bee population decline will open.  Don’t forget to try the bonus question (How many species of bees are in the USA?) which appears in the article. It is only slightly alarmist in tone and will give you an idea of what people are thinking about these days when it comes to disappearing bees.

If you are really interested in this subject, the author (Joe Wilson, Utah State) recently co-authored  Interest exceeds understanding in public support of bee conservation, which appeared September 5th in Frontiers in Ecology. It’s a good read, too, though it’s currently behind a paywall.

About Ron Miksha

Ron Miksha is a geophysicist who also does a bit of science writing and blogging. Ron has worked as a radio broadcaster, a beekeeper, and is based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He has written two books, dozens of magazine and journal articles, and complements his first book, Bad Beekeeping, with a popular blog at www.badbeekeeping.com. Ron wrote his most recent book, The Mountain Mystery, for everyone who has looked at a mountain and wondered what miracles of nature set it upon the landscape. For more about Ron, including some cool pictures taken when he was a teenager, please check Ron's site: miksha.com.
This entry was posted in Bee Biology, Save the Bees, Strange, Odd Stuff and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to How Well Do You Know Your Bees?

  1. I will have to look this one over at the NYT, but 70% correct ID is certainly biased towards those folks who are interested in insects already. My impression of the modern citizen is that they have a severe case of Nature Deficit Disorder—they have way more understanding about the inner workings of their computers and IPhones than anything in the natural world. They say some of the DARNDEST things about very ordinary phenomena.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: How Well Do You Know Your Bees? | Beginner Beekeeper

  3. BeeNuts says:

    Had the same problem, Ron. My neighbour was convinced my bees were coming into their house. They weren’t – the culprits were drone flies, a honey-bee mimic. It was only by cupping the flies in my bare hands and releasing them outside that my neighbour was reassured. You really need to know your bugs, though. Drone flies, like most flies have their wings set at a different angle to honeybees, otherwise it’s fairly convincing mimicry. Not had the same problem with the unicorns …

    Liked by 1 person

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