Apine Bees (Apinae)

Apine Bees

  • Name: Apinae
  • Rank: subfamily
  • Parent ID: 47221

The Apinae are the subfamily that includes the majority of bees in the family Apidae. It includes the familiar “corbiculate” (pollen basket) bees — bumblebees, honey bees, orchid bees, stingless bees, and the extinct genus Euglossopteryx. It also includes all but two of the groups (excluding Nomadinae and Xylocopinae) that were previously classified in the family Anthophoridae.


ID: 199939

Apine Bees (Apinae): A Fascinating Look into their Identification Characteristics

Welcome to the captivating world of Apine bees! These incredible creatures, known as Apinae, are a fascinating subject of study for entomologists and nature enthusiasts alike. With their distinctive identification characteristics and unique behaviors, these buzzing beings never fail to astound us. In this blog post, we will dive deep into the mesmerizing world of Apine bees, unraveling their intricate physical features that set them apart from other species. So put on your imaginary beekeeper suit and get ready for an exciting exploration into the enchanting realm of Apine bees!

Introduction to Apinae Bees

Bees of the Apinae family are some of the most interesting and important bees in the world. They are responsible for pollinating many of the world’s crops, including some that are essential to human diets. As such, they play a vital role in global food security.

There are many different species of Apinae bee, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They vary in size, coloration, and habits, but all share some key characteristics that help to identify them as members of this family.

Apinae bees are generally large bees, with bodies that can range from 12 to 20 mm in length. They have thick hair that covers their entire body, including their legs. This hair is often used to collect pollen, which they then transfer to their hives.

The coloration of Apinae bees can vary widely, but they are often black or dark brown. Some species may have stripes or other markings on their abdomen (the rear section of their body).

All Apinae bees have a long tongue that they use to reach nectar deep inside flowers. They also have special stomachs that allow them to store large amounts of nectar so that they can make it back to their hive even when there is no food available nearby.

Behaviorally, Apinae bees are very social creatures. They live in hives with hundreds or even thousands of other bees, and work together cooperatively to care

Identification Characteristics

There are many different types of bees in the Apinae family, and they can be difficult to identify. However, there are some key characteristics that can help you tell them apart. For example, most Apinae bees are black or dark-colored, and they often have yellow stripes on their bodies. They also tend to be larger than other types of bees, and their wings may be darker than their bodies. Additionally, Apinae bees typically live in nests made of wax and honeycomb, which they build themselves.

Anatomy and Structure

Bees of the Apinae subfamily are some of the most interesting and diverse bees in the world. There are over 4,000 species of apine bees, and they can be found on every continent except for Antarctica. Apine bees vary widely in size, color, and habits, but they all share some common characteristics that make them easy to identify.

All apine bees have two pairs of wings, a long tongue, and distinctive antennae. The front pair of wings is larger than the back pair, and both pairs are covered in tiny hairs that help the bee fly. The tongue is used to collect nectar from flowers, and the antennae help the bee smell its way around.

Most apine bees are black or dark brown, but some species are brightly colored. Some apine bees have stripes or patterns on their abdomens, while others have furry bodies. No matter what they look like on the outside, all apine bees are important pollinators that help keep ecosystems healthy.


The apine bee is a small to medium sized bee that is black and yellow in color. The abdomen is usually black with yellow stripes, and the thorax is typically black with two yellow stripes. The head of the apine bee is also black and yellow, with the face being mostly black.


There are more than 20,000 species of bees in the world, and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The Apinae bee is a member of the family Apidae, which includes honeybees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and stingless bees. These bees range in size from 2 to 20 mm (0.08 to 0.79 inches). The majority of Apinae bees are black or dark brown, but some species are brightly colored.

The size of an Apinae bee can vary depending on the species. For example, the common honeybee (Apis mellifera) is about 12 mm (0.47 inches) long while the giant carpenter bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) can reach up to 20 mm (0.79 inches). Males are usually smaller than females, but there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, male dwarf honeybees (Apis florea) are about 10 mm (0.39 inches) long while females are only 8 mm (0.31 inches).

Despite their small size, Apinae bees play an important role in pollinating flowers and crops. They are also a valuable food source for other animals such as birds and bats.

Floral Specialization

The Apinae bees are a large subfamily of bees, containing over 3,000 species. Many of these species are specialized in their pollination of flowers. The Apinae bees have adapted to a wide variety of floral habitats, from desert to rainforest.

One example of a specialized Apinae bee is the Bombus dahlbomii, or the Dahlbom bumblebee. This bee is found in Chile and Argentina, where it pollinates the native plant Chilean fire bush (Embothrium coccineum). The Dahlbom bumblebee has long been considered one of the most efficient pollinators of this plant species.

Another example of an Apinae bee with floral specialization is the Megachile rotundata, or alfalfa leafcutter bee. This species is found in North America, where it pollinates alfalfa (Medicago sativa) – a crop that is essential for livestock feed. The Megachile rotundata is an important pollinator of this crop, as it is able to transfer pollen more efficiently than other bee species.

The vast majority of Apinae bees are generalist pollinators, meaning they are not specialized to any one particular type of flower. However, there are a few species that have developed specialize adaptations for specific types of flowers. For example, the Macropis nuda is a European bee that specializes in collecting pollen from orchids.

Flower Choice

Most bee experts can identify a bee to at least the family level by looking at its features. But even within a family, there are often many species that look very similar. To correctly identify a bee down to the species level, it is necessary to examine both its physical features and its habits.

One of the most important things to look at when trying to identify a bee is the type of flowers it visits. Different families and even different species of bees prefer different types of flowers. By knowing which flowers a bee is visiting, you can often narrow down your search to just a few possible species.

For example, if you see a bee collecting pollen from a sunflower, you can be pretty sure it belongs to the family Megachilidae (leaf-cutter bees and mason bees). If you see a bee collecting nectar from a trumpet-shaped flower, it is likely to be in the family Apidae (honey bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees). And if you see a bee feeding on the pollen of an orchid, it is probably in the family Orchidaceae (mining bees and sweat bees).

Of course, there are always exceptions to these rules. Some bees will visit multiple families of flowers, and some flowers are visited by bees from multiple families. But knowing which flowers a bee prefers is still one of the best clues for correctly identifying it.

Pollination Services Provided

Apine bees are a diverse group of bees that are important pollinators of native plants. They are found in every continent except Antarctica and their pollination services are critical to the survival of many plant species.

There are over 500 species of apine bees and they vary greatly in size, shape, and color. They can be as small as 2 mm or as large as 20 mm and their colors can range from black to brown to yellowish-green.

Most apine bees are solitary, meaning they do not live in colonies like honeybees. Instead, they build nests in cavities or burrow into the ground. Some species of apine bees will reuse old nests while others will build new ones each year.

Apine bees collect pollen on their body hair (setae) and carry it back to their nest where they use it to provision their young. When an apine bee visits a flower to collect pollen, some of the pollen grains will stick to its body and be transferred to the next flower it visits, resulting in pollination.

Apine bees are important pollinators of many different plant species including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Without them, many plants would not be able to reproduce and would eventually die out.

Nesting Practices

In the spring, apine bees will leave their nests in search of food. They will travel up to several miles from their nests in search of pollen and nectar. During this time, the bees will visit a variety of flowers, including dandelions, clover, and lavender. After collecting pollen and nectar, the bees will return to their nests where they will store the food in cells. The cells are made of wax that the bees produce from glands on their abdomens. Once a cell is full, the bee will seal it with another layer of wax.

Nest Site Selection

When selecting a nest site, honey bees (Apis mellifera) take into account a number of factors including the proximity to water and other resources, the amount of sun exposure, and the availability of suitable building materials. The ideal nest site will have all of these resources close by, but if necessary, bees will sacrifice one resource for another. For example, if there is not a convenient water source close by, bees may build their nest in an area that gets more sun exposure instead.

Building materials are also important for honey bee nests. Bees use a combination of wax and propolis to build their nests, and they need access to both in order to construct a strong and durable home. If bees are unable to find enough wax or propolis near their chosen nest site, they may abandon the site altogether.

Nest Construction Methods

There are three primary methods that bees use to construct their nests: soil nest, wood nest, and leaf nest.

Soil Nests: Soil nests are the most common type of bee nest. They are typically built in abandoned rodent burrows or other small openings in the ground. The bees will line the inside of the nest with wax to create a waterproof barrier.

Wood Nests: Wood nests are less common than soil nests, but they can be found in hollow tree trunks or other cavities in wooded areas. Like soil nests, wood nests are lined with wax to create a waterproof barrier.

Leaf Nests: Leaf nests are the least common type of bee nest. They are built by attaching leaves together with beeswax. Leaf nests are often found in trees or shrubs.

Size Range and Region Locality

The size of an Apine bee ranges from 2.4 to 19 mm in length. Their region locality is found in the Northern Hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, and North America.

Apine bees can be difficult to identify because of their small size and the fact that they live in such a wide range of habitats. However, there are some characteristics that can help you to identify them. For example, most Apine bees have dark-colored bodies with yellow or white markings. They also have short hair on their bodies and long legs in comparison to their body size. Additionally, many Apine bee species build their nests in trees or shrubs rather than in the ground.


Apine bees are a fascinating species of bee that can be identified through their unique physical characteristics. They have a variety of colors, sizes, and shapes which make them easily distinguishable from other bee species. Not only do they make great pollinators but they also provide an interesting insight into the world of bees. By understanding more about apine bees and their identification characteristics, we can better appreciate this amazing insect’s many contributions to our environment.