Four honey bee workers feeding on honey from a cell in the hive

Ants, bees and wasps

The ants, bees, wasps, horntails and sawflies are all in the order Hymenoptera. The group is very diverse with solitary and social species, herbivores and carnivores, and parasitic and non-parasitic lifestyles. All species hatch out as grubs, then later pupate into their adult shape. Females usually have a long, thin, egg-laying organ called an ovipositor. In some species this has developed into a sting.

Scientific name: Hymenoptera

Rank: Order

Watch video clips from past programmes (1 clip)

In order to see this content you need to have an up-to-date version of Flash installed and Javascript turned on.

Explore this group

Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.

Classification

  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Insects
  5. Ants, bees and wasps