Do All Bees Make Honey?

The other day while standing in line at the grocery store I was asked a question by a follower: “Do all these make honey?”.  For whatever reason, I had never actually considered the question before, so, I thought I would do a little research, and here’s what I found.

Basically, the answer is: no; all bees do not make honey.

Honey Bees Working a Honeycomb
Honey Bees Working a Honeycomb

Actually, Honeybees are the only bees, which make true honey.    Even among the varieties of Honeybees (Italian, German, Carniolan, Buckfast, Caucasian, and Russian), they do not make honey of equal quantity or quality.   Also, honeybees are not native to North America; they were brought to North America by Europeans.

Bumble Bee On A Flower
Bumble Bee On A Flower

Bumblebees (larger than Carpenter bees, but similar in appearance) are social and make nests similar to honeybees, but these nests are much smaller, Bumblebees while they store nectar, do not make true honey.

Red Mason Bee
Red Mason Bee

Most bee species belonging to other families are solitary and don’t nest in colonies. Mason bees make nests in cracks and crevices, leaf-cutter bees nest in hollow stems or holes in wood,  Carpenter bees drill holes in dead wood, where digger and mining bees make their nests in holes underground.  These bees do not make true honey or beeswax.

Related References

Bee Basics: An Introduction to Our Native Bees

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