Fun Bee Wolf Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Bee Wolf Facts For Kids

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Beewolf honey bees are fascinating insects. Other names for this wasp are bee wolf, bee-hunters, and bee-killer wasp.  This solitary wasp has a complex social structure and works together to ensure the survival of its hive. The bee wolf (Philanthus triangulum) can also be an important part of your garden, pollinating flowers and other plants that you may want in order to produce food for yourself or sell at a local farmers market. Did you know that a bee wolf (Philanthus triangulum) has five eyes? The two large compound eyes give the solitary wasp excellent vision. The European beewolf also has three simple eyes called ocelli which help detect light levels when it is dark outside, as well as sense movement in the air around it. These little solitary wasps or honey bees are amazing!

The sting of a honey bee wolf could be compared to that of a wasp or yellow jacket. The beewolf honey bee has been kept for thousands of years. It is not uncommon to see these solitary wasps and honey bees in your garden, especially if you have a white or yellow flower that they love. The solitary wasp is generally a dwarf honey bee and can be a great help around the yard as well as the garden. Did you know the European beewolf does not fly by flapping its wings? These solitary wasp use large hind limbs to quickly propel themselves forward. This enables them to fly at speeds of up to 25 mph (35-40 kph). European beewolf honey bees are also very territorial. If an outside bee or other insect enters their territory, they will attack to defend it. This makes solitary wasps (Philanthus triangulum) great natural insect control for your garden.

For more relatable content, check out these yellow jacket wasp facts and common wasp facts for kids.

Fun Bee Wolf Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Nectar from flowers

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

0.5-1 lb (200-400 g)

How long are they?

0.5-0.6 in (1.5-1.7 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, yellow, orange, and brown

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Foxes, Mice, And Moles

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Ground, Burrows, Near Flowers, Nests, Sandy Gardens, Sand, And Fruit Trees


Europe, North America, And Canada









Beewolf Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a beewolf?

The solitary wasps of the bee wolf species are one of the most ferocious insects ever known to man. These wasps can be found on every continent and their honey is a rare delicacy, only harvested once a year.

What class of animal does a beewolf belong to?

Bee wolf wasps belong to the class Insecta just like the cicada killer wasp. They are frequently found near burrows.

How many beewolves are there in the world?

It is hard to say how many bee wolf wasps there are in the world, but it's safe to assume that there are plenty as IUCN status states they are not threatened.

Where does a beewolf live?

The bee wolf wasp species lives all over the place, near flowers, pollen gathering as well as in their nests that are underground in a burrow. They might even find a tree branch to rest on if it is long enough.

What is a beewolf's habitat?

Despite their name, the beewolf wasp species can be found in many different places sometimes surrounded by butterflies. Some beewolves might prefer the cool and moist forests of Canada or Alaska while other wasps like to dwell within Africa.

Who does a beewolf live with?

The wasps and bees of the beewolves species live in a swarm of bees. The beewolf wasp species is a social insect that has been known to live in colonies as large as 60,000 individuals.

How long does a beewolf live?

A wasp in the bee wolf species has a lifespan that is dependent on its size. It is known that the smallest of these beewolves only lives for about one year while larger wasps can be as reach 15 years of age. The average lifespan of these honeybees is five to eight years. They are also found living with other insects, like the mydas fly.

How do they reproduce?

The life cycle of the beewolf wasp is a mystery to many. In fact, it's quite strange how this wasp species is able to produce offspring at all. Females lay one egg inside their cell in the nests and then die. Strange huh? The larvae hatch after about six weeks.

What is their conservation status?

The IUCN status of beewolves wasps is Least Concern.

Bee Wolf Fun Facts

What does a beewolf look like?

These wasps are a type of bee that dig a burrow in the ground. They use these holes to raise their larvae and then this wasp nests within them. They have two antennae, but the adults of this particular species have three major segments in the abdomen with one pair situated near their rear end while another is close to their head. They build nests by collecting leaves or simply dig into the soft, sandy earth surface with their forelegs.  They secrete honey wax from their forelegs as a defense against predators who may eat it for nourishment when sources become scarce during winter months when flowers stop blooming because bees do not hibernate like other insects such as ants and termites. All food must be gathered in the summer prior to when cold weather sets in.

Females of the honeybees species love hanging out in their chamber cells.

How cute are they?

The honeybees and wasps of this species are absolutely adorable creatures that look like cute little critters with wings and antennae. You will love these wasps when you see one deep inside the soil in their burrow.

How do they communicate?

They can communicate with each other using various methods including tongue-drumming and humming, but their favorite is through dancing.

How big is a beewolf?

These honeybees are about the size of a human thumbnail. They have gold and black stripes that run down their back with three distinctive colors on its head, which are white, black, and yellow. Their size ranges between 0.5-0.6 in (1.5-1.7 cm) in length.

How fast can a beewolf fly?

These bees are tiny and agile. They can fly at speeds of up to 25 mph (35-40 kph). The beewolf is a small creature that can sprint at incredible speeds. For its size, the beewolf really knows how to move. They are fierce and swift, and they'll have you running for the hills in no time.

How much does a beewolf weigh?

This bee weighs about 0.5-1 lb (200-400 g) and has a sting that lingers for three minutes before numbing out after six hours post-sting event.

What are the male and female names of the species?

The male is simply referred to as the beewolf, but females are referred to as Queen bees. The queen beewolf is larger than male honeybees in size which means she has got her hands full. She has to take care of all the other females plus the larvae and eggs present in her cell. The queen looks after them until they are ready to fend for themselves.

What would you call a baby beewolf?

These honeybees produce babies which are known as larvae that feed and prey on the pollen from flowers. Beewolf babies are so cute and adorable and they will always make you smile. Predators like mice or foxes frequently prey on the larvae.

What do they eat?

These bees spend their days collecting pollen and nectar from flowers before returning home to fill up and feed an extra abdomen that functions as a living pantry or cell called the honey sac chamber. Once all these groceries build up into enough sweetness, bees seal off this second abdomen with wax so it can become liquid gold, also known as honey.

Are they poisonous?

Bees are not poisonous, but is the beewolf? This may sound like an urban myth until you know what makes this insect so special. Beewolves are one of a kind and rarely sting. These docile creatures live in harmony with us humans because they do not have any venomous qualities to their bodies or wings.

Would they make a good pet?

You can enjoy the company of a bee without actually having to kill them. With bee wolf honeybees, you'll get all the benefits of a pet but none of the risks that come with owning one.

Did you know...

A beewolf ant queen is born to rule her colony. The first thing she does after mating is finding a suitable place for the eggs and brood, which will soon produce more queens like herself. She starts by looking for an ideal location with plenty of food nearby such as trees or a sandy burrow where they can build their nests for brooding and easily search, prey, and hunt for their next dinner menu. Nesting need to be close enough so other members of the nest feel safe from threats in all directions but not too near water sources since those usually flood during heavy rainstorms and wash away any ants on top surfaces such as caves. Once this has been settled, next comes mating cells. Mating cells are located near a burrow mostly. They dig deep tunnels in the burrow and create a safe nesting where the larvae and eggs are placed so the predators do not prey on the eggs and larvae.

Where does the beewolf come from?

The beewolf is a strange wasp with an odd history. To this day it is still not certain where or when these winged animals were first present on the earth. However, it is believed that the first recorded sightings of the bee wolf date back to 536 A.D, when it was spotted near a monastery in China and then again around 800 AD by French monks journeying through what is now known as Romania. There have been many variants speculated by folklore experts over time but one theory centers around the wasps' ability to swarm together into something resembling a pack mentality which can then lead them towards becoming quite aggressive if provoked.

How rare is a beewolf wasp?

It is not rare, but it is still a blessing to spot one. They are usually hiding in the underbrush, waiting for their prey, and you don't know they are there until they make themselves known with their angry buzzing sound that seems out of place for such an animal.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods from our paper wasp facts and mud dauber wasp facts pages.

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

Written By
Iram Ashfaq

<p>With a Bachelor's degree in Dental Surgery from Shaney Institute of Health Sciences and a Master's degree in Public Health from Imperial College London, Iram is a highly qualified and accomplished writer from Srinagar, India. Over the course of a year, she has acquired multiple writing certifications, focusing on health sciences and research studies. Prior to joining Kidadl, Iram gained valuable experience working as a content writer for Indian firms and interning at a New York-based company. Her expertise and passion for writing shine through in her ability to create compelling content across a variety of topics.</p>

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