This Is Not A Bee

This Is Not A Bee

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It can be hard to distinguish bees from all the other insects out there that look like bees.

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If you want to learn more about this topic, start your googling here:
Mullerian mimicry: a type of mimicry in which two or more animals with defenses develop similar appearances as a shared protective device
Batesian mimicry: a type of mimicry in which an animal with no defenses is protected by its resemblance to an animal capable of defense

Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Script Editor: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Video Illustrator: Ever Salazar (@eversalazar)
Video Director: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
Video Narrator: Kate Yoshida (@KateYoshida)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Emily Elert, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder:


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If you liked this week’s video, we think you might also like:
A collection of “bees” that aren’t bees:



Brower J.V.Z. & Brower L.P., (1965). Experimental studies of mimicry. 8. Further investigations of honeybees (Apis mellifera) and their dronefly mimics (Eristalis spp.). American Naturalist 99:173–187.

Dyer, F., Jan 2017, personal communication.

Franks, D. W. and Noble, J., (2002). The origins of mimicry rings. Standish, R. K., Bedau, M. A. and Abbass, H. A.(eds.) In Artificial Life VIII: Proceedings of the Eighth International Conference on Artificial Life. MIT Press., pp. 186-191.

Pasteur, G., (1982). A classificatory review of mimicry systems. Annual Review of Ecology & Systematics, 13: 169–199.

Rettenmeyer, C.W., (1970). Insect Mimicry. Annual Review of Entomology 15: 43-74.

Wilson, J., Jan 2017, personal communication.

Image Credits:
Honey bee (Apis mellifera) – Charles James Sharp

Sugar bag bee – Graham Wise

Agapostemon virescens – Susan Ellis

Amegilla cingulata bee – Chiswick Chap

Drone fly (Eristalis tenax) – Francis C. Franklin

Eumeninae Wasp – Joaquim Alves Gaspar

Sesia apiformis – Gyorgy Csoka

Lunate Blister Beetle – Bernard DUPONT

Plain Lacewing (Cethosia hypsea) caterpillar – Bernard Dupont

Nymph of Green Milkweed Locust (Phymateus viridipes) – Bernard DUPONT

Eristalis tenax – Wilder Kaiser

Yellow Jacket Wasp – Wikimedia user Bombman356

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