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View of the Cheviot Hills. Courtesy of Andrea Roberts

Cheviots © Simon Fraser Sun set in the Cheviots © Simon Fraser
Cheviots Challenge
Bumblebees, Honey Bees and Wasps
Bumblebees
A bumblebee is any member of the bee genus Bombus, in the family Apidae. There are over 250 known species, existing primarily in the Northern Hemisphere. Bumble bees are important pollinators.
(Bombus sp.) collecting pollen fom a flower. Collecting pollen A bumble bee perparing to land on a plant

Bumblebees are social insects that are characterised by black and yellow body hairs, often in bands. However, some species have orange or red on their bodies, or may be entirely black. Another obvious (but not unique) characteristic is the soft nature of the hair (long, branched setae), called pile, that covers their entire body, making them appear and feel fuzzy. They are best distinguished from similarly large, fuzzy bees by the form of the female hind leg, which is modified to form a corbicula: a shiny concave surface that is bare, but surrounded by a fringe of hairs used to transport pollen (in similar bees, the hind leg is completely hairy, and pollen grains are wedged into the hairs for transport). Like their relatives the honey bees, bumblebees feed on nectar and gather pollen to feed their young.

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Honeybees
Honey bees (or honeybees) are a subset of bees in the genus Apis, primarily distinguished by the production and storage of honey and the construction of perennial, colonial nests out of wax. Honey bees are the only extant members of the tribe Apini, all in the genus Apis. Currently, there are only seven recognised species of honey bee with a total of 44 subspecies,[1] though historically, anywhere from six to eleven species have been recognised. Honey bees represent only a small fraction of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees. Some other types of related bees produce and store honey, but only members of the genus Apis are true honey bees. Read more>>
Honey bees collecting nectar
Honey bees storing nectar
Wasps
The term wasp, Vespula vulgaris, is typically defined as any insect of the order Hymenoptera and suborder Apocrita that is neither a bee nor an ant. Almost every pest insect species has at least one wasp species that preys upon it or parasitizes it, making wasps critically important in natural control of their numbers, or natural biocontrol. Parasitic wasps are increasingly used in agricultural pest control as they prey mostly on pest insects and have little impact on crops.
Common wasps are instantly recognisable because of their yellow and black stripes. They are social insects and live in underground nests of up to 10,000 workers. The wasps do not construct their own burrow but will choose one which already exists, such as an abandoned animal burrow, a corner of a garden shed, or the loft of a house. Read more>>
The common wasp
Wasp sting, with droplet of venom
Sand wasp (Bembix oculata, family Crabronidae) removing bodily fluids from a fly after paralysing it with the sting.
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