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Sunday, 2 August 2009

Interesting Facts About Bees

Bees are known as the only insects that produce food for man. They are responsible for pollinating about one-third of the foods we consume. Besides honey, they also produce beeswax. These flying insects can be found on any continent (besides Antarctica) that contains insect-pollinated flowering plants. The best known bee species are the European honey bees. They also happen to be the ones that I like the most because, as its name suggests, they produce honey (as do a few other types of bee) and I love eating food made with honey.
Among the various species of bees, there are both solitary and social bees. The Solitary bees typically produce neither honey nor beeswax. Of all the Social bee species, the honeybee has the most organized society. A colony of honeybees is headed by the queen who is usually the mother of all the bees in the hive. The
queen bee lays eggs from early spring to the end of summer. During its lifetime of about 5 to 7 years, it may lay up to 100.000.000 eggs.

The males of the colony, known as the drones have only one function, they fertilize the eggs the queen lays. The female bees are the worker bees. The drones hatch from unfertilized eggs and females (queens and worker bees) hatch from fertilized eggs. One of the most important tasks of the female bees is to collect the pollen and nectar from the flowers to supply the hive. The pollen provides protein for the bees, and the nectar is stored in open cells where it will dry into honey.
Bees that have found food sources containing high concentrations of nectar go back to the hive to tell the others the good news. They use a pattern of “dancing” which varies from species to species, which tells the other bees the location and distance of their discovery. Worker bees who attend the queen bee lick a substance from its body. They pass this substance from one to another as a communication that the queen is well. Should the queen die or vanish, the news would rapidly be passed around. The bees would then find a new queen.

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