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Apidae Collection

Apidae, the family of bees that includes honey bees and bumblebees, is a fascinating group of insects

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey Bee (Apis mellifera), internal anatomy, cross-section

Honey Bee (Apis mellifera), internal anatomy, cross-section

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bees, (Apis mellifera) honeycomb and life cycle, expanded cross-section and insets

Honey bees, (Apis mellifera) honeycomb and life cycle, expanded cross-section and insets

Background imageApidae Collection: European honey bee (Apis mellifera) feeding on ice plant flowers (Sedum spectabile)

European honey bee (Apis mellifera) feeding on ice plant flowers (Sedum spectabile), Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. September

Background imageApidae Collection: Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) queen nectaring on Comfrey (Symphytum Hidcote

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) queen nectaring on Comfrey (Symphytum Hidcote Pink ) flowers. In garden, Surrey, England, UK. March

Background imageApidae Collection: Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) taking off from Knapweed, England, UK, August

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) taking off from Knapweed, England, UK, August

Background imageApidae Collection: Himalayan honey bees (Apis dorsata laboriosa) on comb, Mount Namjagbarwa, Yarlung

Himalayan honey bees (Apis dorsata laboriosa) on comb, Mount Namjagbarwa, Yarlung Zangbo Grand Canyon National Park, Tibet, China. October

Background imageApidae Collection: Composite image of Wallaceas giant bee (Megachile pluto) with European honey bee (Apis melifera)

Composite image of Wallaceas giant bee (Megachile pluto) with European honey bee (Apis melifera)
Composite image of Wallaces giant bee (Megachile pluto) with European honey bee (Apis melifera). This is the worlds largest bee, which is approximately 4 times larger than a European honey bee

Background imageApidae Collection: Close up view of Honey Bee comb showing larvae in cells Norfolk, England, June 2017

Close up view of Honey Bee comb showing larvae in cells Norfolk, England, June 2017

Background imageApidae Collection: Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), flying to Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), flower

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), flying to Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), flower, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. June

Background imageApidae Collection: Honeybee (Apis mellifera) flying to Bluebell flowers (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) Monmouthshire

Honeybee (Apis mellifera) flying to Bluebell flowers (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. April

Background imageApidae Collection: Field cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus campestris) feeding on Goldenrod (Solidago). Monmouthshire

Field cuckoo bumblebee (Bombus campestris) feeding on Goldenrod (Solidago). Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. September

Background imageApidae Collection: European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in flight, feeding on flowers (Brachyglottis sp)

European honey bee (Apis mellifera) in flight, feeding on flowers (Brachyglottis sp). Monmouthshire, Wales, UK, June

Background imageApidae Collection: Close up of honeycomb from Honey bee hive (Apis mellifera) showing hexagonal pattern

Close up of honeycomb from Honey bee hive (Apis mellifera) showing hexagonal pattern of cells filled with liquid honey, Qatar, Arabian Gulf, May

Background imageApidae Collection: Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) flying to Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale)

Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) flying to Oriental poppy (Papaver orientale) Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. July

Background imageApidae Collection: Inser Weiher in autumn, a pond with red coloured water, caused by dissolved tannins

Inser Weiher in autumn, a pond with red coloured water, caused by dissolved tannins. Berner Seeland, Berne, Switzerland, November. Photographed for The Freshwater Project

Background imageApidae Collection: Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) queen about to land at her nest burrow in a

Buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) queen about to land at her nest burrow in a garden lawn with loaded pollen sacs to provision grubs that will become future workers for her colony, Wiltshire

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nectaring on a Crab apple (Malus sylvestnis

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nectaring on a Crab apple (Malus sylvestnis) flower in a garden, Wiltshire, UK, April

Background imageApidae Collection: Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), on Purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea), Monmouthshire

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), on Purple toadflax (Linaria purpurea), Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. June

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) with full pollen baskets feeding on Balkan anemone (Anemone blanda)

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) with full pollen baskets feeding on Balkan anemone (Anemone blanda). In garden. Surrey, England, UK. April

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) extending proboscis to nectar on Common rue (Ruta graveolens)

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) extending proboscis to nectar on Common rue (Ruta graveolens). Green aphid (Aphidoidea) beneath flower. Surrey, England, UK. July

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nectaring on freshly opened yellow Lantana (Lantana camara) flowers

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) nectaring on freshly opened yellow Lantana (Lantana camara) flowers. Flowers turn pink when nectar no longer provided. In garden, Tanzania. Native to tropical Americas

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) foraging on Peony (Paeonia officinalis) pollen. Surrey, England, UK

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) foraging on Peony (Paeonia officinalis) pollen. Surrey, England, UK. May

Background imageApidae Collection: Carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp) nectaring on Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)

Carpenter bee (Xylocopa sp) nectaring on Clary sage (Salvia sclarea). Pollen deposited on bees back by hanging anthers. Turkey. June

Background imageApidae Collection: Chilean bellflower (Crinodendron hookerianum) releasing pollen via sonication which

Chilean bellflower (Crinodendron hookerianum) releasing pollen via sonication which replicates buzz pollination. Native to Chile. Controlled conditions

Background imageApidae Collection: Great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) nectaring on Kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria)

Great yellow bumblebee (Bombus distinguendus) nectaring on Kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria). RSPB Balranald Nature Reserve, North Uist; Outer Hebrides, Scotland, UK. July

Background imageApidae Collection: Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), in flight, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. May

Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), in flight, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. May

Background imageApidae Collection: Painted nomad bee (Nomada fucata) male bee with characteristic green eyes, sleeping

Painted nomad bee (Nomada fucata) male bee with characteristic green eyes, sleeping with jaws locked around grass stem, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. June

Background imageApidae Collection: Brown banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) pollinating Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion

Brown banded carder bee (Bombus humilis) pollinating Rosebay Willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) Monmouthshire, Wales, UK, September

Background imageApidae Collection: Bumblebee, (Bombus spp), in flight near rosebay willowherb flower, Scotland, UK, August

Bumblebee, (Bombus spp), in flight near rosebay willowherb flower, Scotland, UK, August

Background imageApidae Collection: Mining bee / Little flower bee (Anthophora bimaculata) taking nectar and pollen

Mining bee / Little flower bee (Anthophora bimaculata) taking nectar and pollen from Common fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) flower, with pollen covered scopa, Surrey, England, UK. August

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) on Fleabane (Erigion eriginousus) Newport Marshes Reserve

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) on Fleabane (Erigion eriginousus) Newport Marshes Reserve, Gwent, Wales, UK. August

Background imageApidae Collection: Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) flying to Hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Monmouthshire

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) flying to Hedge woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) Monmouthshire, Wales, UK, July

Background imageApidae Collection: Giant honey bee nest (Apis dorsata) up in a giant Mengaris tree (Koompassia excelsa)

Giant honey bee nest (Apis dorsata) up in a giant Mengaris tree (Koompassia excelsa) dipterocarp forest in Danum Valley, Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) on comb with honey, Kiel, Germany, June

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) on comb with honey, Kiel, Germany, June

Background imageApidae Collection: Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) feeding from Chive (Allium schoenoprasum), Monmouthshire

Tree bumblebee (Bombus hypnorum) feeding from Chive (Allium schoenoprasum), Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. June

Background imageApidae Collection: Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), flying to Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), flower

Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum), flying to Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea), flower, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. June

Background imageApidae Collection: European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) collecting pollen and nectar from Scentless Mayweed

European Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) collecting pollen and nectar from Scentless Mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum). Perthshire, Scotland, July

Background imageApidae Collection: Worker honey bee (Apis mellifera) feeding on nectar of Borage (Borago officinalis)

Worker honey bee (Apis mellifera) feeding on nectar of Borage (Borago officinalis) flower in conservation margin at RSPBs Hope Farm, Cambridgeshire, UK. May

Background imageApidae Collection: Honey bee (Apis mellifera) beehives sited on edge of heathland for premium heather honey production

Honey bee (Apis mellifera) beehives sited on edge of heathland for premium heather honey production, Suffolk, UK, August 2011

Background imageApidae Collection: Close up of European dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera - nigra race), feeding

Close up of European dark bee (Apis mellifera mellifera - nigra race), feeding on ice plant flowers (Sedum spectabile), Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. September

Background imageApidae Collection: Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) taking off from Cornflower (Centaurea cyanea)

Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) taking off from Cornflower (Centaurea cyanea) in Bishops Meadow, Farnham. Surrey, England, UK, July 2014. Digital composite

Background imageApidae Collection: Honeybee (Apis meliffera) visiting flax flowers, (Linum usitatissimum), Monmouthshire Wales

Honeybee (Apis meliffera) visiting flax flowers, (Linum usitatissimum), Monmouthshire Wales, UK, May

Background imageApidae Collection: Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), visiting flax flowers, (Linum usitatissimum)

Early bumblebee (Bombus pratorum), visiting flax flowers, (Linum usitatissimum), Monmouthshire Wales, UK, May

Background imageApidae Collection: European honey bee (Apis mellifera) flying to feed on Rosebay willowherb (Chamerion

European honey bee (Apis mellifera) flying to feed on Rosebay willowherb (Chamerion angustifolium) Pentwyn farm SSSI, Gwent Wildlife Trust Reserve, Monmouthshire Wales UK, July

Background imageApidae Collection: Buff tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) flying to Clover (Trifolium sp. ), Monmouthshire

Buff tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) flying to Clover (Trifolium sp. ), Monmouthshire
Buff tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) flying to Clover (Trifolium sp.), Monmouthshire, Wales, UK, June

Background imageApidae Collection: Red tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), visiting Clover (Trifolium) flower, Monmouthshire

Red tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius), visiting Clover (Trifolium) flower, Monmouthshire, Wales, UK. June

Background imageApidae Collection: Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) worker feeding on Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)

Buff-tailed Bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) worker feeding on Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare). Peak District National Park, Derbyshire, UK. July

Background imageApidae Collection: Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) pollinating Desert passionflower (Passiflora palmeri)

Western honeybee (Apis mellifera) pollinating Desert passionflower (Passiflora palmeri). Danzante Island, Loreto Bay National Park, Sea of Cortez, Mexico. May



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Apidae, the family of bees that includes honey bees and bumblebees, is a fascinating group of insects. Honey bees, specifically Apis mellifera, are known for their intricate honeycomb structures and complex life cycle. The expanded cross-sections and insets reveal the inner workings of these remarkable creatures. The internal anatomy of a Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) is a marvel to behold. A detailed cross-section showcases the various organs and systems that enable these bees to thrive in their environment. In nature's vibrant tapestry, we witness the European honey bee (Apis mellifera) diligently feeding on ice plant flowers (Sedum spectabile). Their pollination efforts contribute to the beauty and diversity of our ecosystems. A Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) queen gracefully nectars on Comfrey (Symphytum Hidcote), showcasing the symbiotic relationship between plants and pollinators. These interactions play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity. From Danzante Island in Loreto Bay National Park, Mexico, we observe Western honeybees (Apis mellifera) tirelessly pollinating Desert passionflower (Passiflora palmeri). This delicate dance between bee and flower ensures the continuation of this species' existence. In England's picturesque landscapes, a Garden bumblebee (Bombus hortorum) takes off from Knapweed with grace and purpose. These industrious creatures contribute significantly to our ecosystems by aiding in plant reproduction through pollination. High up in Mount Namjagbarwa resides Himalayan honey bees (Apis dorsata laboriosa), working together on comb construction. Their teamwork exemplifies nature's harmony as they create homes for their colony amidst breathtaking surroundings. A composite image captures Wallacea's giant bee (Megachile pluto) alongside its smaller counterpart - the European honey bee (Apis melifera). This visual juxtaposition highlights the diversity within the Apidae family.