|Scientific Name||Apis mellifera|
|Size||1 cm – 1.5 cm|
|Conservation status||Not valued.|
Honeybees are small, fuzzy, black and yellow creatures that produce mass amounts of honey. Most bees originate from Asia. There are many bee farms now, but you can still find honeybees in the wild.
Diet & Predators
Honeybees receive all their nutrients from pollen and nectar. Water is also needed, as it freshens up the hive by evaporation and helps hydrate them.
Bees have a form of defense: their stingers. If alarmed, they may sting the predator. Most of the time, the stinger doesn’t detach from the predator’s body and the bee dies.
The main products that bees make are honey. When the bee eats nectar, they process it and then set it into a honeycomb. Below is an image of honeycombs and the bees storing the honey inside. It is possible to see many combs filled with honey in the image.
There are three classes of honeybees: the queen, the workers, and the drones. Most often, a single queen is living in the hive and it lays eggs for new bees to be born. The workers are female bees that go out and pollinate flowers. The drones (male bees) simply live in the hive.
During the summer, the workers go out in search of honey. During the winter, to keep warm, all the bees huddle together. They have to survive on pollen and honey that they stored from the summer.
Due to the bees’ population fall, scientists are developing ways to pollinate flowers without them. In 2017 they came up with a simple device: a drone with fuzz on the bottom that picks up pollen from a flower and flies over to another flower to distribute the pollen.
But it had a problem: its propellers harmed the plant. The same scientists decided to add pollen into soapy detergent and load a bubble gun with that substance. They then attached the gun to a larger drone that squirted the bubbles with pollen at flowers. It had great accuracy.
But other scientists say that these bee-emulating drones are distracting us from something more important: actually saving bees, whose populations are drastically declining. [READ MORE ABOUT THESE ROBOT BEES]
Help Save Bees
Saving the bee population starts in your backyard: simply build a garden of flowers that bees could pollinate in! Even dandelions, a weed, work just fine. There aren’t many safe places for bees to inhabit, so providing one in your backyard is great. Try staying away from chemicals such as fertilizers and synthetic pesticides as they are harmful to bees.
Thank you for reading this article.
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- Honey bee on Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honey_bee
- 10 Ways to Save the Bees on the Bee Conservancy – https://thebeeconservancy.org/10-ways-to-save-the-bees/
- Honeybee on National Geographic – https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/h/honeybee/
- Gil, 2020, Are Pollinating Drones Replacing Bees? on Animalia – https://animalia.science.blog/2020/12/05/are-pollinating-drones-replacing-bees/