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Beekeeping/bee behavior


I have a back-yard garden, and am concerned about not seeing bees this spring.  Therefore, I was glad today to see two bees on my lambs ear plant.  As I watched them, I noticed one of the bees was landing on the flower of the plant, while the other would land only on the leaves.  Several times, the one on the leaves would appear to attack the one busy on the flowers. Is this a mating rituals?  I thought all the mating was done in the hive with the Queen.  The bees looked like honey bees, but maybe a little different.  By the way, I live in Louisville, Kentucky.

Honeybees do not usually attack another bee when they collect pollen. Only female honeybees (also called worker bees) are the ones that leave the hive to collect pollen.

You are right that mating is done with the Queen at the hive. Male bees (also called drones) typically stay near the hive with the Queen.

However, this behavior you have explained is not typical of a honeybee, so I'm assuming it was likely another species you saw - most likely a kleptoparasite. But without pictures, it can be difficult to identify which one.  If you can provide a picture or some more details about the insect you saw, then I would be glad to help with the identification.  


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Shaun Billings


I have the knowledge & experience to provide a thorough answer to questions on honeybees & Africanized 'killer' bees. I can cover facts about their behavior, anatomy, impact on our environment, and techniques & methods to removing swarms/hives from structures. Although I am not fully knowledgeable with beekeeping practices, the company I work for relocates the hives we collect to the owner of a local orange grove that needs the bees for pollination. We provide bee relocation services in San Diego, Riverside, Orange County and south San Bernardino.


My experience include 15 years of studying honeybee characteristics & removing bees from structures throughout southern California. The company I work for, Pro Pacific Bee Removal, was founded in 1999. I have contributed to many bee forums, local & international publications, & beekeeping societies. I would be glad to assist you on All Experts with any of your questions!

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