Order Hymenoptera - Ants, Bees, and Wasps
This order contains many highly beneficial insects, from important
parasitoids of crop pests to pollinators of plants. They also
exhibit interesting biology and behavior. The winged Hymenoptera
possess two pairs of membranous wings with relatively few veins.
Generally, they have chewing mouthparts, but may be modified to form a tonquelike structure (bees). The antennae are fairly long.
The abdomen may be fused broadly to the thorax or attached narrowly by
the propodeum. This is a large order with a lot of variation with
respect to morphological characters.
Honey bees are recognized by their golden brown coloration,
two pairs of wings with characteristic wing venation,
and absence of spurs on the hind tibiae. Honey bees also have
hairy eyes and chewing-lapping mouthparts. Worker
honey bees (females) have a pollen basket, called a corbicula, on
their hind tibia.
The robust shape as well as the black and yellow coloration usually
distinguishes bumble bees from other insects in the Apidae family.
Like honey bees, they also have a pollen basket and chewing-lapping
mouthparts, but lack hairs on their eyes.
Here we use the term
wasp in the general sense. There are a number of different
families that carry the common name wasp, including vespidae (yellow
jackets, hornets, paper wasps), pompilidae (spider wasps), and sphecidae.
Wasps are recognized by their distinctive body shape (constriction
between abdomen and thorax) and warning
colorations. They typically have well-developed wings, antennae,
and chewing mouthparts.