Lakes & Rivers
Wasps, Bees And sawflies
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Bees And Wasps along with
ants are part of the Hymenoptera order. I have a separate section on Askbud for
Ants and therefore will be talking about Bees, Wasps and Sawflies only on these pages.
belong to the third largest insect order, Hymenoptera, which also includes
wasps and Sawflies. Together, these creatures pollinate plants including many crops, turn
over the soil more effectively than earthworms, and, in the case of the honey
bee, furnish food in the form of honey. Even more importantly, some members of
this order prey on other
insects, the single most important factor in keeping the Earth's insect
population in check.
eyes, like those of other insects, differ greatly from human eyes. They consist
of a pair of compound eyes made up of numerous six-sided facets. They also have
three simple eyes. Despite this, their vision is believed to be sharp for a
distance of only about 1 m.
however, are capable of seeing ultraviolet light, which is invisible to humans.
The bee is capable of navigating by ultraviolet light, which even penetrates
cloud cover. Honey bees also use the sun as a reference point to communicate to
other bees the angle of flight
to be followed to arrive at newly discovered nectar bearing flowers.
Bees occur on
all continents except Antarctica. They are most frequent in hot, arid habitats.
There are about 3500 species of bees in North America
Wasp is a
common name applied to most species of hymenoptera insects, except for the
bees. Insects known as wasps include the sawflies, the parasitic wasps and the
stinging wasps, which are the best known. About 75,000 species of wasps are
known, most of them parasitic.
characterized by two pairs of membranous wings and an ovipositor that may be
modified in various ways.
species one sex may be wingless.
vegetarian sawflies, the abdomen is broadly attached to the thorax and the
ovipositor is rigid, in the higher wasps, the abdomen is flexibly attached to
the thorax and the ovipositor is movable. The larvae of parasitic wasps consume
the bodies of other insects or, in a few cases, consume plant tissue.
stinging wasps are predators or scavengers; their ovipositors may be modified to
inject venom used for killing prey or for defense.
wasps, sawflies and parasitic wasps do not build nests. After depositing their
eggs on a host plant or animal, the adult wasps fly off in search of food for
themselves or more hosts for their larvae. The eggs are left to develop and
hatch on their own.
However, some stinging wasps live in societies that are more complex than those
of social bees.
wasps rely on a nest from which they conduct many of their activities,
especially rearing young. Wasp nests may be as simple as a straight burrow in
the ground, like those made by the females of many digger wasps. Some wasp
nests, such as those of mud daubers and potter wasps, are above ground,
constructed of mud cavities attached to twigs, rocks, or human structures. The
simplest mud nests contain only one or a few larval cells and are not used by
the adults. Other mud nests contain many cells arranged side by side. Among the
most intricate nests are those made of paper fibers collected from dry wood and
bark and mixed with the wasps' saliva. The vespoid wasps (yellow jackets,
hornets, and paper wasps) build nests of this type. In each paper-fiber nest
there are one or more combs, or densely packed arrays of larval cells. The
adults may congregate on the combs, and some nests have an outer cover, forming
a protective refuge for the whole colony. This is the familiar "hornet's nest"
that may house hundreds or thousands of individuals
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