What are they?
Bees and wasps (together with ants) form the large insect order Hymenoptera. Many species have a constriction between their thorax and abdomen, giving the appearance of a prominent ‘waist’. Females also have a stinger with glands that secrete venom, which is in fact a modified ovipositor (an organ used to lay eggs). This is why only female bees and wasps can sting!
Why are they important?
Bees and wasps play important roles in our forests, parks and gardens. Bees are important pollinators – animals that transport pollen from the male flower to the female flower. Without them, many plants would not be able to develop fruits and seeds. Meanwhile, wasps function as predators of other small insects, keeping their populations in check.
Are they dangerous?
It is safe to view bees and wasps while they’re at flowers, as they will only get aggressive when their nests are threatened. Their presence is a welcome sight as many of the plants in our parks and garden rely on them to reproduce, in turn providing food for other organisms. They also increase the fruit yield of many popular edible plants such as brinjals and gourds.
Here are some of the bees and wasps that you can see in Jurong Lake Gardens.
|Wasps and Hornets|
Banner: Giant Honey Bees foraging on a water lily flower. Photo credit: Tan Jing Wen