There are 9 different families of bees and around 20,000 known species.
Some common types of 'social' hive inhabiting bees include the Honey bee, The Africanized Honeybee, (or 'killer bee') and the Bumble bee.
'Solitary' bees that make their own single nest include the Carpenter Bee, Leafcutter bee, Mason bee, Digger Bee and Mining Bee.
The every day bee that we associate with most is the honey bee (or honeybee). There are 7 species of honey bee and 44 subspecies.
Honey bees live as large colonies in honeycomb structures built from beeswax called hives. There are 3 types of bees in a colony, drones, workers, and queens.
Beeswax comes from abdomen glands of a worker bee, they use the wax to form the walls and caps of the comb.
Honey is made from the nectar and sweet deposits that bees collect from plants and trees. Honey is stored in honeycomb as a food source for the colony.
Bees have a long proboscis (type of tongue) that helps them to get the nectar out of flowers, they collect pollen in pollen baskets on their body.
Worker bees are female, they collect pollen and nectar to feed the colony, they clean the hive, make the honey, take care of the offspring and groom / feed the queen. Worker bees live from 1 month in summer up to 9 months over winter.
Drones are male, their one job is to mate with the queen, they live for 40 - 50 days.
The queen bee's only job is to lay eggs, they lay up to 1,500 eggs a day. The queen can live for 2 - 5 years, and lay about 1 million eggs over her lifetime.
Bees have two pairs of wings, the larger fore wings and the smaller hind wings.
The smallest bee is a type of stingless worker bee that's about 2.1 mm long. The largest bee is a type of leafcutter bee whose females can reach 39 mm.
There are over 250 known species of bumble bee.
Only the queen bumblebee survives the winter, so there's no need for bumblebees to store large quantities of honey in the hive like honey bees do.
There are over 100,000 species of wasp. Two common types of wasp are the yellowjacket wasp and the hornet.
Most wasp species are 'parasitic' which means they use the venom from their stings to paralyze pray and lay their eggs within the host, so larvae will hatch.
Wasps can build their nests in a variety of places but they usually pick sunny areas, in holes underground along riverbanks, or attached to the side of walls and trees, or underneath floors, wasp can be agitated and dangerous near nests.
A bee's buzz is not produced by the beating of its wings but by vibrating muscles.
Only female bees (queen and worker bees) can sting. A honey bee can only sting once, as barbs rip the stinger out of the bee and it will die. Bumblebee's and wasps stingers don't have barbs, so they can sting multiple times without injury.