What are bees?
How do bees help us?
Where do bees live?
Can bees sting?
What do honeybees look like?
Are the nests used again?
Why do honeybees swarm?
What do bumblebees look like?
Where can I find information about Urban Beekeeping in Winnipeg?
Bees are common insects, and we find them almost anywhere, especially on flowers. The two most common bees are bumblebees and honeybees.
Bees are important insects because they pollinate fruits, vegetables and crops. Without them many plants would not develop. Bees visit flowers, feeding on the nectar and collecting pollen to build their nests.
Bees normally build their nests in the soil. However, they use other natural holes such as abandoned rodent nests or tree hollows. Most bees live by themselves but the honeybee is a social insect. It lives with other honeybees.
Bees are generally more mild-mannered than wasps and are less likely to sting. Bees can only sting once. Because they have a barbed stinger, it gets stuck once the bee has stung. When it tries to fly away, the bee dies.
Adult bees are medium sized, grayish-yellow with black or brown banding on the abdomen. They are fuzzy. Honeybees live in colonies with a single queen and many workers. Only the queen over winters. Every fall the queen leaves the nest, spending the winter in a sheltered place. The workers gradually starve to death in their nest.
The nests are not used the next year. The queen starts a nest every year using a new spot and new materials.
If a colony becomes overcrowded, the colony will split into two. One half leaves the nest, searching for a new home. The swarm is harmless if left alone.
Bumblebees are black and yellow bees that are large and fuzzy. They are called bumblebees because they frequently bump into things. Bumblebees live in colonies and build their small nests in holes or cracks in the ground.
The City of Winnipeg's Planning, Property and Development Department has a webpage with information on Urban Beekeeping in Winnipeg.