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About Bees

Bees, like honeybees and bumble bees, are insects and belong to the Hymenoptera. Many honeybees and bumble bee species are social. They have ‘worker’ bees that help take care of offspring by providing pollen and nectar as food. In honeybees, nectar is formed into honey and stored in the wax of the honeycomb in the bee hive.
 
 
Did you know?
Only female bees sting! This is because the sting is a modified ovipositor (the specialized structure in female insects used to lay eggs).
 
Did you know?
When you see an insect with wings, it is fully grown.
 
Honeybees and bumble bees have five eyes. Bees see UV light (which we can’t see) and this helps them find flowers because flowers reflect UV light. Unlike bumble bees, honey bees have a dance for their fellow nest mates to tell them the location of food. One type of special dance is called the ‘waggle’ dance. A bee will come back to the hive and move in a figure-eight circle pattern with a waggle down the middle. The direction of the dance and how long it lasts tells the other bees which direction and how far the flowers are from the hive!

Bee keeping has been around for thousands of years and not just because of honey!Bees are one of the most important insects because they are pollinators. What does that mean? When bees visit flowers they pick up pollen and nectar. When they visit another flower they transfer some pollen which then fertilizes the plant. Once a plant is fertilized it makes fruits with seeds in it that go on to make new plants. We eat many of these fruits. Some examples of the foods we eat that are pollinated by bees include apples, squash, almonds, and blueberries. For more information on what you can do to help conserve pollinators (bees and other animals) see the U.S. Fish and Wildlife website: http://www.fws.gov/pollinators
 

For more information about bees check out these links:
Bee ecology
The Teaching Bee
Bumble bees
Help the honeybees

 
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