Do you know that there are over 800 types of bees in Texas? And these aren’t just your average, everyday honeybees. These are different species of bees that play vital roles in our ecosystem. From pollinating our plants to making honey, these creatures are essential for survival.
In this guide, we will look at the 15 most common types of bees found in Texas. We will discuss their appearance, diet, and habitat. By the end of this guide, you will better understand the different types of bees that call Texas home.
The Most Common Types of Bees in Texas:
The following are the 15 most common bee species found in Texas.
1. Western Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)
The Western honey bees, also known as European honey bees, are the most common bee found in Texas. These bees are responsible for pollinating many of our crops and plants. They are also the primary source of honey production in the state.
The bee is medium-sized with a dark brown or black body. Their wings are darker than their bodies and have gold-colored rings running through them.
They can be found in most parts of Texas. They typically live in hives located in trees, bushes, or artificial structures like colonies and sheds.
2. Eastern Carpenter Bees (Xylocopa virginica)
The Eastern carpenter bee is another common bee found in Texas. These bees are important pollinators of many native plants and flowers.
They are large with a black and yellow striped body. They have large eyes and a short, stout abdomen.
They can be found in eastern and central Texas. They typically live in wooded areas where there are plenty of trees to build their nests.
3. Ligated Furrow Bee (Halictus ligatus)
The ligated furrow bee is a ground-nesting bee commonly found in the eastern United States. This bee gets its name from the unique way it constructs its nests. The female bee will create a small hole in the ground and then roll up a piece of grass or leaves to create a “tube” leading into the nest. This tube is then sealed with mud, creating a water-tight seal.
The color of bees is primarily black or brown/black. The size of females differs based on their reproductive strategies. Queen bees are giant compared to worker bees.
The furrow bee is a solitary bee, meaning that each female builds and cares for her own nest. Each nest usually contains between 10 and 20 bees. These bees are important pollinators of many crops, including pumpkins, squash, and cucumbers.
4. Common Eastern Bumble Bee (Bombus impatiens)
The Common Eastern Bumble Bee is one of the most widespread bumblebees in North America. It can be found from coast to coast, including in Texas.
This bee is easily recognizable by its black and yellow stripes. The abdomen is mostly black, with a yellow band near the middle. The medium-sized heads of these bees are topped with short hair, and their long, rectangular-shaped bodies are primarily black, with a yellow thorax and the first abdominal segment.
Queens can grow to 23mm in length, while workers top out at 16mm. They nest in various habitats, including grasslands, woodlands, and gardens.
5. Blueberry Mason Bees (Osmia ribifloris)
Native to North America, the Blueberry Mason Bee is a solitary bee that collects pollen from plants. It’s known for pollinating blueberries and is found in Texas.
As their name suggests, these bees construct their nests using masonry products and mud. They create their nests in dark cavities and cracks in stones and are most active till late summer.
The color of a bee can often be described as metallic blue or green. Some bees are black or have rusty red coloration. Farmers often use bees to help with pollination on farms. This is because bees are very efficient at transferring pollen from one plant to another.
6. Africanized Bees (Mellifera scutellata)
The Africanized bee is a hybrid of the Western honey bee and was first introduced to Brazil in 1956. These bees are now found in many parts of South and Central America and some parts of North America, including Texas. Africanized bees are often referred to as “killer bees” because they are more aggressive than other types of bees, and bee stings can be dangerous to humans.
The killer bees are similar to the domesticated honey bees in appearance, but their size can distinguish them. They are slightly smaller than regular honey bees. They are golden yellow with brown bands. Also, the bees can be found in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
7. Hoary Leaf Cutter Bees (Megachile pruina)
The solitary bee gets its name from the mask, a silver-gray color. You can find them in gardens, meadows, and parks all over North America. These bees cut crescent-shaped sections out of leaves to line their nests with.
They are large and have a fuzzy appearance. They are black and white, and their wings are clear. The bees are solitary bees nesting in hollow reeds or stems. These bees pollinate various plants, including squash, melons, and beans.
The female bees build their nests by themselves. They lay their eggs in the nest and then seal it up. The larvae hatch and then spin cocoons. They spend the winter in the cocoons and emerge as adults in the spring.
8. Squash Bee (Eucerini)
The squash bees are native bees specially adapted to pollinate squash and pumpkins. The bee is active in the morning and evening when the flowers are open.
They nest in ground burrows and line the nest with pollen. The ground-nesting bees often take an afternoon nap inside closed squash blossoms. Squash bees are attracted to the nectar of squash plants and will visit the flowers to drink. The bees then use their long tongues to reach the nectar at the bottom of the flower.
The plants that yield squash are entirely dependent on bees. If you see Squash bees near your garden, it’s a good thing because you may have a large crop.
9. Curved Pebble Bees (Dianthidium curvatum)
The small, Curved Pebble Bee (Dianthidium curvatum) grows to only around 7mm in length. Despite their size, these bees are widely distributed and quite common, especially from April to October. As their name suggests, these insects have a curved body shape with a yellow mask on the surface.
Although they are not the most colorful of bees, they can be identified by their unique markings, including a black head and thorax and yellow on their abdomen.
These bees are essential pollinators and play a vital role in the ecosystem. Without them, many plants would not be able to reproduce, and fruit or vegetables may not taste as sweet.
10. Southern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa micans)
Found near woody plants, the Southern Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa micans) is a large bee that can grow to 12cm in body length. Their black metallic coloration reflects green or blue. While they don’t live in colonies, these bees are known for their burrowing habits.
The nests of carpenter bees are much like those of other bees, consisting of a series of cells in which the young are raised. The difference is that carpenter bees tunnel into wood to create their nests, rather than using existing cavities or constructing their own from plant material. This can cause damage to structures made of wood, such as houses, decks, and fences.
They are often mistaken for bumblebees, but their lack of yellow markings can distinguish them and they fly solo rather than in groups.
11. Horse Fly Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa tabaniformis)
The black carpenter bee is a large bee found in the eastern United States. It gets its name from its habit of drilling into the wood to make nests. The female bee does all the work while the male bee hangs around and guards the nest. They are essential pollinators of many plants, including tomatoes, eggplants, and peppers.
The pollination skills of these small carpenter bees are essential for producing these crops. They are black with a metallic green or blue coloration.
12. Sonoran Bumble Bee (Bombus sonorus)
The colorful bees are native to the Sonoran desert and found in the western United States. The size of the worker bee is 18mm, while the queen bee is slightly larger.
The heads are black with a yellow thorax. The body is black and yellow striped. They have a black band between the wings and the abdomen. The last three segments of the stomach are black.
These bees are important pollinators of native plants and crops. They are also known to visit flowers for nectar more frequently than other bees, making them key players in plant reproduction cycles.
13. Two-spotted Longhorn Bee (Melissodes bimaculatus)
With two light spots at the end of the abdomen, the Two-spotted Longhorn Bee is easily recognizable. The males have long antennae, while this bee’s legs are covered in yellow hairs. At first glance, these hairs may resemble pollen dust.
They build nests out of mud, which explains its name. The adult bees are black with yellow markings on their abdomens. The females have a stinger, but they are not aggressive and will only sting if threatened. In summers, you can commonly see bees collecting pollen from flowers in agricultural fields.
14. Carpenter-mimic Leafcutter Bee (Megachile xylocopoides)
The bulky appearance of carpenter-mimic leafcutter bees makes them easily distinguishable from other native bee species in Texas. These bees are black and shiny, with males having white hairs on their thorax and head.
The bees build and provide their own nests individually, rather than in hives like other bee species. Despite their large size, these bees are not aggressive and pose no threat to humans. They are an important pollinator species in Texas due to their love of flowers.
15. Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee (Augochloropsis metallica)
With green metallic coloration and a bean-shaped body, the Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee is a distinctive species of bee found in Texas. They typically grow to around 9mm in body length and are common in the state from March to November.
During this time, they visit a wide variety of flowers, searching for nectar and pollen. While they are essential pollinators, they can also be pests when they invade homes searching for water or build their nests too close to humans.
|Types of Bees in Texas||Scientific Name|
|Western Honey Bee||Apis mellifera|
|Eastern Carpenter Bees||Xylocopa virginica|
|Ligated Furrow Bee||Halictus ligatus|
|Common Eastern Bumble Bee||Bombus impatiens|
|Blueberry Mason Bees||Osmia ribifloris|
|Africanized Bees||Mellifera scutellata|
|Hoary Leaf Cutter Bees||Megachile pruina|
|Curved Pebble Bees||Dianthidium curvatum|
|Southern Carpenter Bee||Xylocopa micans|
|Horse Fly Carpenter Bee||Xylocopa tabaniformis|
|Sonoran Bumble Bee||Bombus sonorus|
|Two-spotted Longhorn Bee||Melissodes bimaculatus|
|Carpenter-mimic Leafcutter Bee||Megachile xylocopoides|
|Metallic Epauletted-Sweat Bee||Augochloropsis metallica|
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How Many Types Of Bees Are There In Texas?
Over 800 bee species make their home in Texas, including honeybees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, sweat bees, and mason bees.
What Are Ground Bees?
Ground bees are a type of solitary bee that nests in the ground. They are often mistaken for wasps or hornets because of their black and yellow stripes. These bees are important pollinators of native plants.
What Are The 4 Types Of Bees?
There are four main types of bees: honeybees, bumblebees, carpenter bees, and Africanized bees.
Are Africanized Bees In Texas?
Yes, Africanized honeybees are found in Texas. These bees are more aggressive than other honeybees and can sting humans more easily.
What Attracts Bees To My House?
Bees are attracted to sweet smells so they may be tempted by flowers or fruit blooming near your home. They may also be attracted to the sugary smell of soda or candy.
What Smells Do Bees Hate?
Bees dislike the smell of smoke, so you can use smoke bombs or incense to keep them away from your home. You can also try using essential oils with a strong scent, such as peppermint or eucalyptus.
What Are Those Big Fat Bees Called?
Those giant fat bees are called Carpenter bees. They are important pollinators of both crops and native plants.
Are Killer Bees In Texas?
Yes, Africanized honeybees, also known as killer bees, are found in Texas. They are harmful to humans and animals and can sting multiple times. If you see a bee hive, it’s best to stay away and contact a professional for removal.
What Are The Black And White Bees?
The black and white bees you are seeing are probably sweat bees. Despite being pollinators, they are solitary bees and do not produce honey.
What Bees Will Sting You?
All bees can sting you if they feel threatened, but some bees are more aggressive than others. If you see a bee hive, it is best to stay away from it.
As you can see, there are many different types of bees in Texas. Each type of bee has its own unique set of characteristics and behaviors. Some bees are more aggressive than others, while some are more docile. Some bees live in hives, while others build their nests in the ground. No matter what type of bee you encounter, it is important to be respectful of their space and never disturb a bee colony. If you have any questions or concerns about getting rid of bees in Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Dallas, Fort Worth, or any other part of Texas, be sure to contact a professional pest control company like us for assistance.