Learn how bees live!

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Bees are social insects and belong to the Order of Hymenoptera. They live in families consisting of a queen, thousands of workers and drones (male bees).

The queen is the mother of the whole hive. She is the only one who has the ability to give birth, the only true female of the hive. Workers are incomplete females. They do all the jobs in the hive: cleaning, collecting food and water, building honeycombs etc. The drones are born in spring and die in the winter. These are larger than the workers, thick and black. They are harmless, since they do not have a stinger. Their purpose is the queen’s fertilization.

The body of bees consists of the head, thorax and abdomen. There are two complex eyes on the bee’s head and three simple on the bottom. These distinguish the colors that the human eye can distinguish, however the bee distinguishes the ultraviolet (UV) and does not distinguish the red. Man’s eye sees 20-30 images per second while the bee’s eye sees 300 images at a time.

Between the eyes, there are two antennae on which several sensory organs are found. In the thorax section there are two pairs of membrane wings. Their belly is divided into rings, including the glands. The last of the rings has the stinger. The males have neither glands nor stingers.

The worker lives for about 45 days, while the queen can live for up to 5 years. The Queen is larger than a worker with longer body. Once she comes out of her cell, she seeks to find and kill her queen sisters before they hatch from the cells. There must be only one in the hive.

The queen is fertilized only once at the beginning of her life. In particular, she leaves the nest and flies in the air, accompanied by a few dozen drones. Mating always happens in the air. The strongest arrive, mate with her successively and then die. When the Queen returns to the hive, the workers clean her, take care of her and feed her. Two to five days after fertilization, she starts to give birth to eggs.

Bees produce honey, royal jelly, propolis, and wax, which are useful and nutritious ingredients. Also, bees play a very important role to the pollination of flowers. Bees contribute to pollination by transferring pollen from flower to flower.