The Truth About Bees:

Did you know that male bees don’t have stingers and literally cannot sting? Or that most females won’t sting unless they are severely agitated or threatened because they understand that they will die as a result? Bees are a beautiful and remarkably intelligent species to entertain in your home garden, container, or balcony.

Habitat loss, loss of continuous, safe flying zones, and pesticides have made the modern bee a resilient and adaptable creature. Throughout BeePedia there are opportunities to learn about bees by type or through exploration online!


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

There are over 4,000 species of North American bees. Use BeePedia to learn about some of the most common in Boston, how to identify them, and other fun facts!

More Information About Bee Species:


External Information We Love About Bees:

  • Killer Bees Don’t Exist – The Truth About Africanized Honey Bees
  • Bumblebee with No Wings Makes a Human Friend – Watch on YouTube!
  • Bees Express Personality Through Choice of Flight Paths – Scientific American
  • Popular Science – Most Bees are Solitary! You Can Help Them Too!
  • Green Peace – Seventy out of the top 100 human food crops —  90 percent of the world’s nutrition — are pollinated by bees.

Common Bee Definitions/Glossary:

  • Bee – a flying insect and close relative of ants & wasps, known for their role in pollination, the production of honey and beeswax. There are over 20,000 species in seven biological families of Anthophila.
  • Beehive – the man-made structures typically built for honeybees.
  • Bee’s Nest – the naturally occurring and widely varied structure that bees build for solitary homes, but also for up to thousands of residents.
  • Corbicula – pollen basket, the area on hind legs of some bees used to store pollen.
  • Proboscis – the bee’s long tongue used for gathering nectar.
  • Communal Bees – bumblebees, honeybees, stingless bees, sweat bees, orchid bees
  • Solitary Bees – carpenter bees, leafcutter bees, mason bees, mining bees, squash bees, plasterer bees, and more!

Bee Information, Internal Links, and Tips

How to Engage with Bees in Your Yard or Patio
Not all of us want a bee’s nest in our backyard, but that shouldn’t prevent anyone from providing a healthy habitat for visitors. The single best change that the average person can make to their yards for bees is to stop using all chemicals. That includes weed killers, pesticides, and chemical-based fertilizers. Why? It kills bees. Period.

Creating Bee Friendly Flight Paths or Corridors
Bees of all species benefit greatly from close plantings of the same flowers and linked beds or flight paths. Abundant plantings of the same species like one can find in nature (see this beautiful example of North American Wood Anemones) are also a great way to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

The Best Bee-Friendly Flowers in BeePedia
Although every flower in BeePedia has bee-benefits, some are more attractive than others. Here is a list of easy-to-grow, top bee attracting flowers!

All About Lily Bee

In BeeExplorer, players transform into Lily Bumblebee or Lily Bee (for short). As a bumblebee, Lily’s job is to explore all over Boston. She searches for new flowers, new bee friends, new landmarks, and all sorts of challenges .

Lily’s BeePhone contains all of the information that you need to get around Boston and learn about the local ecosystems. BeePedia is an app within Lily’s BeePhone. After winning a level, new facts are opened up for Lily in BeePedia and she is periodically challenged by Trivia to win extra honey based on her knowledge!

With honey, Lily can buy new accessories, new antennas, new wings, and even some special surprises. The fastest way to collect honey is through trivia and BeePedia, but players will also learn about flowers and bees through the stories and BeeChat’s that Lily receives along the way.

No matter how you play, BeeExplorer surrounds you with fun and engaging information that is directly applicable to New England life!

A Quick Introduction to Lily’s Friends

    • Aunt Daisy – a retired BeeExplorer, Aunt Daisy, has flown 500 miles learning about flowers and neighborhoods. Now she helps guide Lily around Boston by sending Lily helpful chats and links.
    • Amy – Lily’s best friend from the nest, Amy, is a nurse bee who sticks close to home and helps clean up, and take care of the babies.
    • Margarita – a cousin of Lily’s, Margarita, lives in fashionable Back Bay Boston so she can teach Lily about exotic and imported flowers from the well-manicured gardens around town.
    • Cedric & Duncan – Cedric & Duncan Drone are from Lily’s hive and accompany her on the trip from Medford to Boston. They’re always on the lookout for other hives and delicious nectar flowers!
    • Norman – Norman is a Carpenter Bee who lives near Lily. He’s very fast and territorial, so racing against Norman can get highly competitive!
    • Melissa – Melissa Honeybee has a favorite, secret flower spot because honeybees are known for their efficiency once they’ve encountered a great patch! Follow her trail to see why and learn about honeybees.