The three types of bees
⦁ Queen: Can Iive from 1 to 5 years. Only the queen lays eggs — up to 2,000 a day! She can lay a million eggs in her lifetime. This is her only job. Her whole life, she is fed royal jelly by the workers. When the hive starts to get overpopulated the queen lays special eggs that will hatch into new queen bees. The queen then sends out bees to scout for the new home. When a place is found she leaves the hive with a group of worker bees. When the bees emerge in the new hive, the strongest queen bee destroys the other queens, as there can only be one queen in each hive.
⦁ Worker bees: Are all female. Their job is to maintain the hive, take care of the baby bees, feed and take care of the queen, pack pollen and nectar into cells and then cap them, and collect pollen. They also fan their wings to keep the hive cool and to protect it. A worker bee’s average life span during the work season is 3-6 weeks.
⦁ Drones: The male bees’ job is to mate with the queen. They fly out in special drone congregations in hopes of meeting a queen. They don’t have a stinger.
Anatomy of a Bee
Bees have two stomachs, one for nectar and one for food.
Bees have five eyes. They have 6 legs and are classified as insects.
Bees have two pairs of wings. Their wings have tiny teeth so they can lock together when they fly.
Bees have straw like tongues called proboscis. They also have mandibles so they can chew.
They carry pollen on their hind legs called a pollen basket.
Honey has a natural preservative in which bacteria cannot grow.
Bees are the only insects that produce food humans can eat.
Honey was found in the tombs of Egypt, and it was still edible.
Honeybees have been around about 30 million years.
Pollen is a source of protein for the hive and is needed to feed the baby bees.
There are five products that come from the hive: honey, beeswax, pollen, propolis and royal jelly.
A single bee hive can make more than 100 pounds of extra honey.
Honey bees dance to tell other bees the location of the flowers, flying time to the source, and wind speed.
Honey bees can fly 15 mph. They beat their wings 200 times per second, or 12,000 times per minute.
The average worker bee makes 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in their lifetime.
Bees communicate through chemical senses called pheromones.
Every third mouthful of food is produced by bees pollinating crops.
Although bears do like honey, they prefer to eat bee larva.
The flower where the nectar was gathered determines the color of the honey.
Honeybee mating is a dramatic example of sexual suicide in the insect kingdom. The drones die in the act of mating. Honeybees’ sexual intercourse takes place in the air.
Honey bee extinction
Since 2006, we have lost half of all our honey bees in North America. From 5 million to 2.5 million.
Scientist believe the reasons for the rapid depopulation include the use of pesticides in local crops and parasites.