World Bee Day

Bumble Bee on Lavender

Celebrating World Bee Day

World Bee Day

Many of our most popular candle scents are floral and tree fragrances, from Apple Blossom & Wild Berry to Camomile & Clover.  With so much of our nature depending on bees, and with over 250 types of bees in the UK, we thought it would bee fitting to join in the celebrations with some interesting facts and terrible puns.

Useful terminology
Thorax (top part, near the head)
Abdomen (in the middle)

The main types of bees found in the UK

Honey bees make honey from pollen and nectar collected from flowers. They live in large colonies with one queen. In the wild, honey bees nest in hollow trees. They have a slim, sandy thorax and a black abdomen with golden-amber bands

Honey Bee on Buttercup

There are 24 species of Bumble bees in the UK with a wide variety of size and colour. The three most common are the garden bumble, the white tailed bumble bee, and the tree bee.

Garden bumble bee (Bombus hortorum)- All three types, the queen, worker and male are similar, with a yellow-black-yellow thorax, a yellow band at the base of the abdomen, and a pure white tail.

Garden Bee

White-tailed bumble bee (Bombus lucorum)- The bee has a lemon-yellow collar at the front of the thorax and another bright yellow band in the middle of the abdomen, with a pure white tail. Males have bright yellow facial hairs and are often more yellow in the thorax.

White Tailed Bumble Bee

Tree bumble bee (Bombus hypnorum)- The thorax is ginger to reddish brown but can be darker in some individuals.  The abdomen is black and the tail is white.

Two of our most common garden solitary bees are the red mason bee and the leafcutter bee. Solitary bees do not produce honey or have queens to defend and are very peaceful creatures. While some of the females do possess stings they will not use them unless trapped or threatened.

Red mason bee (Osmia rufa) is a small bee covered in dense ginger hair. The males have a white tuft of hair on the face.

Red Mason Bee

Leafcutter bee (Megachile centuncularis) looks like a honey bee with an orange abdomen

Leaf Cutter Bee

Beelieve it or not only female bees can sting. The stinger is a modified egg-laying device. Therefore, only females have them.

How to help bees

Helping bees has a huge positive impact on us, so it is handy to know how we can help them. One of the easiest ways to help bees is by planting lots of nectar-rich, bee-friendly flowers like foxgloves, lavender, alliums and honey suckles. You can dedicate a corner of your garden to this and help the bees thrive. Some bees love tall grass and can make nests in compost heaps and hedgerows.

Flowers with lots of petals may look nice but bees are unable to get to the centre where the nectar and pollen are.

Why help the bees

Without bees wouldn’t be able to survive. Bees pollinate food crops for both animals and our own food. Around 70 crops in the UK depend on bees to pollinate them. Without bees it wouldn’t be long before the ecosystem collapsed. Bees pollinate our trees and wild flowers, which provide food and shelter for other insects, birds, bats and mammals.

We hope this has this has been insightful for you, it certainly was for us.

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