Most UK bees are solitary

In total there are around 250 species of bee in the UK and most of them are solitary bees living on their own and building their own nests so they can to lay their eggs and ensure the next generation emerges.

We had mason bees living behind a window frame last year. The gap they made was tiny, but then they don't need much space as they live a quiet life; they don't have a queen heading up the colony, and don't make honey either. Because they have little to defend they're really very chilled bees and will only sting if you aggrevate them.

There are 24 types of bumble bee

Unlike mason bees, bumble bees and honey bees aren’t solitary, though bumble bees usually live underground in much smaller colonies than honey bees do.

Bumble bee colonies die out after a season with the exception of the Queen who hibernates until the following spring when she starts a new colony from scratch – keep your eye out for the early bumble bees with big white bottoms, it could be a Queen on the hunt for a new home! There are 24 species of bumble bee, but only one of the Honey bee.

Only honey bees make honey

Honey bees are the only species of bee to make and store honey with the sole purpose of keeping their colony going through winter.

For honey bees the survival of the colony from year to year is their only reason to ‘bee’ and if we’re lucky they make more honey than they need and we can have their leftovers!