The Honey Bee (Apis mellifera)

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The honey bee (Apis mellifera) lives in colonies of many thousand people which reside in a hive (an artificially constructed ‘nest’). There are three sorts of honey bee: queens, drones and employees.

Queen. There is just one queen in a hive. She is the one bee that may lay eggs. She is fed by the employees. She is mated by one of many drones and shops his sperms in a particular sac in her physique. This provide of sperms lasts for her lifetime.

Drones are male bees. Their perform is to fertilise the following queen when she hatches. They don’t accumulate nectar or pollen however are fed by the employees. There are just a few hundred drones per hive. In winter they’re expelled from the hive.

Employees are feminine bees however they’re sterile, i.e. they can not lay eggs. There could also be 20,000 to 80,000 employees in a hive. Amongst different duties, the employees assemble the honeycomb utilizing wax secreted from glands on their abdomens. The combs encompass an array of hexagonal ‘cells’ into which eggs are laid or nectar and pollen saved.

Eggs laid by the queen in a few of these cells become larvae that are fed by the employees till they turn into pupae. The employees then put a capping over the cells till the grownup bees are able to emerge.

Employees’ duties. The employees perform a sequence of duties as they turn into older. At first they clear the hive by eradicating useless larval ‘skins’ and useless bees. Later they begin to feed the larvae on nectar and pollen. After 10 to 12 days their wax glands turn into lively they usually construct the cells of the honeycomb. In about three weeks, the employees go away the hive and go foraging for nectar and pollen from flowers. They take these merchandise again to the hive and retailer them within the cells.

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