Honey Bee Behavior
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All About Honey Bees
Honey bees are flying insects that are known for their construction of nests made out of wax. Honey bees live in large colonies where they make and store honey. There are only eight recognized species of honey bee, with a total of 43 subspecies, which is a tiny portion of the approximately 20,000 known species of bees.
Of the eight recognized species of honey bee, the most well-known is the western honey bee which has been domesticated for commercial honey production. It has also been cultivated for crop pollination. Honey bees are thus valued for the honey they produce and their widespread pollination as well as the wax combs they use to store the honey which is used in various cosmetic uses including soap and lip balms, as well as for other household products like candles.
All About Honey Bee Behavior
Honey bees live in colonies where there are three different types: Worker, Drone and Queen. Like all other insects that live in hierarchical caste systems, each of these bee types has its own important role to play which includes specific duties that it performs within the colony.
The Queen bee is typically the only reproductive female in the colony which means that her role is to reproduce. Egg-laying begins in early spring, beginning when the worker bees bring fresh pollen to the hive. Egg production continues until there is no more pollen available which is usually around the middle of fall. Drones are male honey bees. They are larger than the worker bees and have characteristically large eyes that meet on the top of their heads. Drones only have one function which is to fertilize a young queen bee. This means that the main functionality of the hive is performed by one caste of bee alone.
Worker Honey Bee Behavior
Workers are the smallest members of the bee castes but are the largest in numbers. All worker bees are female and are incapable of reproduction. Workers perform all the necessary tasks that the colony requires, including:
- making the wax and forming it into honeycomb
- foraging for nectar and pollen
- transform pollen into honey
- producing royal jelly to feed to the queen and bee larvae
- taking care of the queen’s needs and the needs of the larvae
- removing debris and dead bees from the hive
- maintaining optimal living conditions for the colony by heating, cooling and ventilating the hive
- defending the hive against intruders
Help With Honey Bees In Your Home
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