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Kidadl Team

SEPTEMBER 02, 2021

Did You Know? 15 Incredible Ivy Bee Facts

Bee-rilliant ivy bee facts for kids.

The ivy bee of phylum Arthropoda, class Insecta, and order Hymenoptera, are solitary bees with the majority of the population living near fresh blooming flowers. This species is just about bigger than a honeybee and ivy bees have yellow stripes on their abdomens with ginger thoraxes. Males are smaller in size than female ivy bees.  They dig burrow underground in the soil to lay eggs. They prefer dry soil and small sediment rocks around near ivy plants or flowers. The fall season, mainly in the months of August, September, and October, witnesses their mating season. Southern England, south Wales, and Belgium are some countries where you can easily find this species. They nest in soil on southern-facing banks and cliffs with the ivy plant nearby. Although they are not under any category of IUCN's list, their population can be seen deteriorating, and the Bees, Wasps, and Ants Recording Scheme (BWARS) is taking good steps to conserve them.

Have an interest in insects and want to know about more of them? Here you can know some amazing facts about the Queen butterfly and the whiite admiral butterfly.

Ivy Bee Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an ivy bee?

The ivy bee (Colletes hederae) is a type of insect of the Colletidae family, with most of its population in southern England and the south of Wales.

What class of animal does an ivy bee belong to?

This species belongs to the Insecta class, order Hymenoptera, genus Colletes. Their scientific name is Colletes hederae and is very similar to the honeybee and the bumble bee.

How many ivy bees are there in the world?

The exact count of these bees is still not known as its difficult to record the number of bees. Still, their population is under threat due to various human interventions, climate change, degradation, pesticides, fragmentation, and environmental pollution.

Where does an ivy bee live?

Ivy bees live in areas of gardens, small bushes, and coasts. They are attracted to the flowering patches of ivy plants in sunny parts, mostly small grasslands or gardens. They are local to southern England and some places of Wales as well and nest in large groups close to a plant, flower, or garden. They mostly reach news places in the fall, starting in September.

What is an ivy bee's habitat?

The natural habitat of ivy bees are farmlands, coastal, and urban areas where they can find a plant to suck nectar from. Vegetated areas like paths, lawns, small gardens with a good ecosystem, roadsides are their preferable places to live. This species of solitary bees can also be seen nesting in a swarm, sometimes in one particular area.

Who do ivy bees live with?

The ivy bee is a solitary Bee, unlike other bee species of this family like the honey bee. They are solitary bees but can be seen in small colonies of thousands of bees around the ivy flower or other blooming flowers.

How long does an ivy bee live?

The lifespan of a bee is generally less because they have to work more and travel great distances to find their food and search for good flower plants. The longest living bee is the queen bee who plays a major role in reproduction in the hive. The queen bee lives for around two to five years, but worker bees die soon as they don't have the energy to work beyond their limits and fly long distances. Worker bees can live up to 180 days. Males live for around 80 days while the female ivy tends to live a little longer.

How do they reproduce?

The female ivy mates with the drones, the name for male bees. The queen bee mates with around eight drones and then lay two sets of eggs-fertilized and unfertilized. The fertilized eggs develop into queen bees or worker bees while the unfertilized eggs develop into drones. The mating season is in fall, starting in September.

What is their conservation status?

Their conservation status, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), is Not Evaluated. Their native countries and regions like the south of England and the south of Wales have been experiencing a decrease in their population in the past decade.

Ivy Bee Fun Facts

What do ivy bees look like?

The ivy bee is black, brown, and yellow in color with black patterns on its back. The female is larger than males and is very bright and attractive. This species has a ginger-colored thorax which is a little similar to the solitary bee.

They are so little which makes it almost impossible to observe these ivy bees clearly through the naked eye.

How cute are they?

Being very small and black-yellow in color, these bees are very cute in appearance. Their human-friendly behavior makes them even more attractive.

How do they communicate?

The primary ways of communication for the ivy bee are by motion and by odor. They perform the waggle dance that indicates the location of the hive to other workers of the group. Dancing is one of the most fascinating ways of communication you can ever see. The second mode is through odor. The queen bee uses a special body odor to attract male bees for mating.

How big is an ivy bee?

The ivy mining bee is very small like most other bees of the Colletes genus. They are almost the same size as a honey bee.

How fast can an ivy bee move?

The exact flying speed of ivy bees is not known yet. The wings beat at 230 beats per second and have a speed of 19.9 mph (32 kph).

How much does an ivy bee weigh?

Ivy mining bees (Colletes hederae) are very small bees of the Colletidae family and weigh around 0.03 oz ( 1.1 g). Bees are so small that around 4,000 bees will only weigh 16 oz (453 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

Ivy mining bee males are called drones and female Colletes hederae ivy bees are known as queen bees.

What would you call a baby ivy bee?

The babies of Colletes hederae ivy bees are called larvae, like other species of bees.

What do they eat?

The ivy bee (Colletes hederae) mainly feeds on the nectar of ivy flowers which bloom in the months of September, October, and November.  They sometimes feed on other vibrant-looking flowers as well.

Are they harmful?

These ivy bees are extremely harmless and you can roam around this bee even with your kids. They won't sting.

Would they make a good pet?

No, they won't make good pets. These are insect bees and to disturb their natural environment and pet them can harm the ecological balance. However, people use these bees in the honey selling business.

Did you know...

Bee ivy workers do a series of actions called the 'waggle dance' to give the location of food to other workers. Through this dance, the bee ivy communicates only the direction of the supply and not the exact distance. However, the duration of dance is about the distance. If the movement is vertical, the source is directed towards the Sun.

Can ivy bees sting?

No, ivy bees cannot sting as the males do not have any stings at all. A female ivy bee sting is very thin and weak and they do not use them frequently.

Are ivy bees good?

The ivy mining bee is good as it is an important pollinator of food crops. They produce nectar and the majority of the food we eat today is from pollination. They are friendly towards humans and can detect their faces as well. This makes it easy to practice honey culture and helps the economy by selling ivy bee honey products and generating employment.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! For more relatable content, check out paper wasp facts or dragonfly facts for kids.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our free printable ivy bee coloring pages.

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