If you are one of the many people who divide “bees” into “honey bees” and “bumble bees”, you might be surprised to learn there are almost 20,000 known species of bees in the world. About 3,500 live in the United States, and in Minnesota, there are probably close to 400. Not even 2% of these are honey bees and bumble bees. The other 98% are mostly solitary bees. Solitary bees, as you might guess, live on their own, not in colonies with a queen and workers like honey bees and bumble bees. It could be said that each solitary bee is her own queen. She builds her own nest, collects her own pollen and nectar, and lays her own eggs without any help from other bees. Some solitary bees may nest in large groups, but they do not actively help each other.
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